by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Most shops in the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Central Market square reopened in Kaduna on Friday, after several months of closure due to COVID-19 pandemic, but are empty.
Our correspondent, who witnessed the official reopening, reported that most of the shop owners sneaked in and evacuated their goods under vivid lockdown.
Findings revealed that some traders bribed their way into their shops through securities and emptied their shops (of mostly perishable items) to different locations, while some were allegedly consumed at home during COVID-19 lockdown due to hunger.
A reopening statement on Friday, by Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company, warned that “Market would be opened, from 9:30am to 4:30pm daily; any trader found trading by roadside after market closure would be prosecuted, according to the law banning street hawking (2016), and have their goods confiscated.
“We wish to inform the general public that, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market will be re-opened Friday, 14th August, 2020. The date for the re-opening of the other markets will be communicated.
“As we move towards the gradual re-opening of markets, traders and residents of Kaduna are required to note that, there will be no return of confiscated goods.
“Traders and residents are strongly advised to make use of public transportation when coming to the market, due to the ongoing construction around the area and shortage of parking space,” it stated.