* PVC means of identification to collect bank drafts
One week after APC’s Tonye Cole and his team doled out N15m to support the Fruit Garden traders, Gov Nyesom Wike has moved to compensate traders and victims with far higher amounts. Each trader got N80,000 from the APC fund while the governor gives N400,000 (N300,000 to non-shop traders) to each person.
The governor has also flagged off reconstruction of the market with a beautiful model that has won the hearts of the over 600 listed traders in the market, both the burnt side and the unburnt. Those whose shops were burnt were listed as about 213.
Gov Wike redeemed his pledge Saturday morning to compensate traders of the burnt Fruit Garden Market Port Harcourt as he handed over bank drafts to some of them. Others who did not see their names were told to go to the Govt House and meet Chief of Staff with their PVCs. They rushed home to search for them. Those with discrepancies in their names are having hectic time explaining, but they have been told to come back on Monday.
Also on Saturday, the Rivers State Government flagged off the reconstruction of the burnt section of the Fruit Garden Market. The foundation stone was laid by the Ebonyi State Governor, Engineer Dave Umahi.
Speaking before presenting the bank drafts to the affected traders, Governor Wike stated that traders with shops got N400,000 (four hundred thousand naira) while traders who operate as attachment got N300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand naira).
He said: “Today, Government will compensate you, so that you can pick up your lives. We have the bank drafts because we don’t want you to be targeted by criminals. Go to the banks, open accounts and expand your businesses”.
The governor charged the contractors to ensure that the market is completed within the next three months.
“We have paid 60percent of the contract sum. So, this market must be completed in three months. We have the funds to complete the market in record time.
“We are building a bigger and more beautiful market . All the affected traders must have their shops back, before the remaining shops are allocated to others “, he said.
He said that governance is about trust and keeping to promises. He said that the Mile One Market was burnt under the Amaechi administration, but that administration failed to rebuild the market, despite promising the traders.
He said during the campaign, he pledged to reconstruct the Mile One Market, pointing out that the market will be ready by December.
Ebonyi State Governor, Engineer Dave Umahi praised Governor Wike for his commitment to the rapid development of the state. He said that Governor Wike has proved to be a lover of his people through unending roll out of projects.
He said while others are thinking of the next election, Governor Wike is imitating newer projects for his people.
“Wike has continued to plan projects for his people. He is building up treasure for himself in heaven and touching the lives of his people.
“You may not understand what Wike is doing until you visit other states. In Rivers State, the people are filled with gratitude for the good works”, Umahi said.
He said Governor Wike is a great leader with a golden heart. He urged Rivers people to continue to support Governor Wike.
He said: “Because he is God-fearing and nobody can uproot Governor Wike “.
Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Special Projects, Mr Daks George Kerley stated that market will have open and lock up shops.
He said that the market will have a perimeter fence, a car park, warehouses and security features for the protection of the market.
Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Mr Victor Ihunwo Nyeche thanked the Rivers State Governor for coming to the aid of the affected.
He stated that the traders will repay the Rivers State Governor in 2019 by overwhelming re-electing him.
Highpoint of the occasion was the handing over of the bank drafts to the affected traders by the Rivers State Governor.