Market Superintendents Want Parking Lots, Marketers Relocated to Omega Market

Apr 2, 2024 - 20:42
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Market Superintendents Want Parking Lots, Marketers Relocated to Omega Market
Partial View of the Abandoned Omega Market

By: Moses M. Tokpah

Paynesville: Several superintendents of various markets in Paynesville have made a clarion call to the Joseph Nyuma Boakai led-administration to relocate various parking lots and marketers to the Omega Market. The superintendents at a press conference held on the premises of the abandoned Omega Market on Monday, April 1, 2024, said the facilities have enough space to host all of the parking lots and marketers from Red-Light and its surroundings. The Omega Market was initiated by former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf through the Sirleaf Market Fund aimed at getting marketers off the streets and sidewalks to place them into a decent market building.


It was also aimed at decongesting the Red-Light Market both in terms of marketers and traffic and provide the marketers an environment that is safe, comfortable, clean and secured for their commercial and other related trading activities. Former President George Manneh Weah also constructed additional structures in the area in order to accommodate more marketers, but the Omega market has been abandoned by marketers on grounds that there are other marketers who have refused to make use of the facilities thereby causing their businesses not run.


The facilities are now been used as a home to several disadvantaged youths (males and females) who spend day and night under the market buildings on a daily basis. Efforts by the Weah administration to relocate the marketers to the facilities did not materialize something many blamed on his quest of seeking re-election in 2023.


But it is being reported that the Boakai administration is also making effort to have the marketers relocated to allow the free movement of vehicles and pedestrians respectively in Red-Light and its surroundings. As the reported relocation process gradually goes on, superintendents of over six local markets in Paynesville are calling on the government to ensure that every marketer is sent to the Omega Market.


Among these superintendents is the Gobachev Market Superintendent, McClain Jallah said the proliferation of marketeers where everybody wants to have a fragment of groupings making specific reference to petite traders, is what causing the problem. Superintendent Jallah indicated that every market group has place in the Omega market therefore, every market group should be relocated to the facilities. He narrated that when marketers moved to the Omega Market on the 12th of July 2021, the condition of the area was bad, but now everything is well.

In addition to that, Mr. Jallah noted that government does not need to run behind the marketers to be relocated, but government should remove all parking lots and all the out of time cars should be relocated to the Omega Market stating that when that is done, the marketers will peacefully follow. The Gobachev market superintendent intoned that this time they don’t want to demonstrate and as such, government should ensure that all parking lots are relocated from Red-Light with no interior car landing in the area something he added will put the entire situation under control.


He acknowledged that it will also be difficult to relocate the parking lots because of the proliferation of the different driver unions thereby expressing the need of bringing them under one umbrella.


“But if you even move the marketers and you leave the parking there, the marketers will still go back; so therefore, they have to bring all of them. They have to move all the parking from there or else we will only be requesting the government now because we don’t want to misbehave, to tell us to go back to where we came from” he recommended.


Mr. Jallah intimated that the past government made a mistake by allowing the marketers to go back to Red-Light in the name of going to sell for Independence Day, and they have remained there until now. He mentioned that plans are underway for the various market superintendents to meet some senior government officials such as the Inspector General of Police, the Minister of Public Works  and the Minister of Internal Affairs, and if nothing is done by them after the meeting, they (Superintendents) will announce to their marketers to return to their old base noting, ‘we are saying it without fear’.


McClain Jallah indicated that he knows that other people such as store owners are disenchanted, but government had provided another area which the Liberia Marketing Association requested from former president George Manneh Weah and he yielded to their request.


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William K Howard William K Howard Jr is a young Liberian Journalist who is focused on investigative and human-interest reporting. He comes with about 10 years of experience in mainstream journalism. William K Howard is currently the Deputy Director of News at Liberia Limited, Kool 91.9FM/TV. His hard work has also earned him several professional certificates in journalism including Journalist of the year 2022/2023 in Liberia's biggest city, Paynesville.