Several Market Women Wednesday morning woke up to the news of the demolition of their market named “Better Day Market” located behind Access Bank in the Red-Light Community.
They have gone for their normal business transaction when their saw their market table broken and their wheelhouses demolished.
In an interview with this paper, the marketers decried the action by the Liberia National Police and the Paynesville City Corporation for demolishing their market structures early Wednesday morning.
Beatrice Weah, the Chairperson of the Better Day Market said the action by state authorities is a total violation of their rights to private property.
She said the market is on a private land and it is not part of the Red-Light Market.
She indicated that the ongoing process is intended to give way to the ongoing road process, but wonders why their market will be demolished when they are not in the first place on the road.
Madam Weah narrated that in 2006, they as market women who basically sell red oil and other assorted goods on the road before the Access Bank, were asked by the Government to leave because their presence there was causing traffic and over population of the area something, she said, prompted them to search for the land that the demolished market was located through a negotiation with the land owner.
She furthered that the area w
as a dump site which was cleared by them (marketers) and made it their market with the name “Batter Day”.
The Market women chairperson further mentioned that they are independent and are not headed by the leadership of the red-light Marketing Association.
Madam Weah furthered that even if they are to go to the designated government market in Omega, it does not have space to accommodate all of the marketers, adding “The place is not big and it a wet land that needs to be developed.”
The chairperson did not hold back to disclosed that their husbands are not working, and it is through the market that they are able to send their children to school and take care of other domestic things for the family.
According to her, government is not seeking their interest, especially during the rainy season.
She called on the Liberian Government to reconsider her decision to build them structures that were demolished by the LNP.
Also speaking was the Superintendent of the Batter Day Market, Kebeh Sumbo who disclosed that the demolition of their market came as a surprise, because they are not obstacles to the developmental project.
She said the leadership of the market is renting the area with a rental fee of five hundred (US 500.00) United States dollars every month.
“This land is a private land; we are paying rent every month” she noted.
She told the media that the leadership and that of the land owner have entered into a lease agreement that will allow them to pay 16 thousands United States Dollars annually.
For his part, Prince Tugbeh, a man claiming to be one of the administrators of the land which hosted the demolished market said they have all legal documents for the land and payments that have been made by the marketers.