Eziukwu Road market in Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State, previously known as Cemetery Market, does not need any introduction for people in Enyimba City. It is very accessible on both road and rail, as it is strategically located on the railway track linking Aba, Enugu, Abakiliki, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
The market is the number one in the entire Aba when one is looking for provisions, cosmetics, toiletries, drinks, stockfish, foodstuffs, stationery and groceries to buy.
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The secretary of the market, Chief Chimaobi Nkaru, narrated how it began and the reason behind the double names it bears till today (Eziukwu Road Market and Cemetery Market).
According to Nkaru, “The construction of Eziukwu Road Market started after the unfortunate inferno at Ekeoha market in 1976. Many Ekeoha traders were displaced and were selling in the streets.
“As the government was making arrangements to build a new market at the current Ariaria International Market, which wasn’t in existence then, the traders occupied streets closer to Ekeoha.
“The affected streets include Cameroun Road, Market Road, Tenant Road and other adjoining roads. They were selling there because they couldn’t get a place to display their goods at the already burnt Ekeoha.
“The then old Aba Local Government decided that it was wise to build another market here. This place used to be a cemetery; hence the name, Cemetery Market.
“This market was completed in 1987, and when it was done, street traders were directed to move into this place. At the beginning, it was all about Cemetery Market, but at a point when people out of fear started saying they were seeing ghosts and all that, we had to pray.
“That was when one of the clerics who came to the market for the prayers, the late Owen Azubuike of Anglican Communion said that from that day henceforth, this place would no longer be called Cemetery Market. He said it should rather be called Eziukwu Road Market. That was how the new name came in. But as you can see, many still call it Cemetery Market.”
Speaking on the accessibility of the market, Matthew Ugwoke, the chairman of Eziukwu Road Market said that under the current administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the market is now linked to major markets.
“With what is going on now in Aba in terms of road constructions, it is difficult to give just a single direction to Eziukwu Market because everywhere is becoming lively and motorable again after many years,” he said.
Nkaru said the Eziukwu Road Market is partitioned into 28 zones, with over 50 lines, according to the types of goods found in each part. Most items are sold in the market, including provisions, foodstuff, rubber products, fairly used wears, among others.
“With the Eziukwu Market functioning to its expected level, many idle hands will get busy. In fact, this place is creating jobs for people, not just traders. You can see the drivers, the loaders, the truck pushers, everybody is busy. Both the educated and uneducated are accommodated here. You can see banks around; you can see people who do adverts and shows for products
“This market has made so many rich people. If you are diligent, hardworking and truthful, you will make it here. Some people came here as messengers but now, they own their business,” he added.