Liberia: Marketers to Benefit Modern Structures

-after demolition of stalls

Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee, who led City Police Officers in the densely congested commercial district of Waterside recently to demolish marketers' stalls as part city government's COVID-19 regulations, assures affected marketers they will receive modern structures, but in different locations of the capital.

He maintains the stalls were demolished by the city government over the weekend to make the city clean in amid the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

However, addressing a news conference earlier at the Monrovia City Corporation, he said the demolition exercise is part of social distancing measures in Waterside, one of the densely populated commercial hubs in the capital.

The demolition angered marketers in the area as they complained of current economic hardship in the country coupled with the Coronavirus crisis.

"The President has assured us that those structures will be modernized in a different location. All stores in the area should now maintain the sanity needed beginning March 31, 2020. Our city must be cleaned and we must ensure the safety of our people. The victims should take heart and not panic," says the Mayor.

When asked about city police officers chasing marketers and taking away their goods, Mayor Koijee denies, at no point in time did any of his officers get involved in such act, dismissing the claims as negative criticizing.

"Myself I'm a victim of huge criticizing and allegation, if anyone think our officers are involved in those acts let them come with evidence". "We respect our marketers and we earlier informed them before the action. We care for them," Koijee defends.

He calls on Liberians and residents within the bailiwick of the city to adhere to health protocols put in place by the government through the Ministry of Health.

"Help us save yourselves. We must lead the drive in combating this disease. We are not in violation, but we are in adherence to the health protocols," he adds.

"You gave us responsibilities and we will make decisions in your interest for your safety. Every shop and business center should use soaps and buckets at all times. Every table should have buckets."

Meanwhile, Mayor Koijee thanks the religious community for cooperating after the closure of churches, mosques and schools, among others, assuring, "We will not compromise your safety."

The Government of Liberia (GOL's) enforcement of Coronavirus prevent measures at the Waterside General Market in Monrovia, demolishing stalls left the densely populated commercial district virtually a ghost town, as aggrieved and frustrated marketers vehemently protested the move by state security.By Lewis S. Teh

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