Traders, shop owners and various business ventures were displaced, with the structures demolished by the management of the school.
The market, referred to as ‘Bush Path’, rendered services such as photocopying, typing, printing at very cheap rates as well as restaurants where food was sold at affordable prices.
Bush Path was located very close to the school hostels and therefore saved students the stress of going far distances in search of goods and services.
A famous eatery known as Madam Quantity was also pulled down.
The order to pull down the structures came from the school administration. The space is meant to be used to erect hostels to increase the comfort of the students.
However, the traders complained that the treatment meted to them was unfair. One of the traders said, “The school gave us a notice of just a week and we were not compensated in any way.”
The traders said it was on a normal business day when bulldozers entered the market and destroyed their properties. Many complained of missing items, adding that the cost of locating a new business centre was very high. A business apartment which could be obtained with N30, 000 has now increased to over N100,000.
However, a notice boldly written ‘REMOVE’ with red ink was sighted on one of the walls of the structures and was dated 23-1-2013.
The relocation of the market will create serious hardship for many of the students as the distance between the hostels and new location is far.
Ude Joy, a student of Industrial Chemistry, said, “The distance between the hostels and the other business centres is far, I now have to go a long way just to purchase a simple item.”
Another student, Tobechukwu Gaius said, “The relocation of the market will reduce the noise and toxic smoke caused by generators.”
Meanwhile, many of the traders have spread to several parts of the school to continue with their usual businesses.
Hembe, a first year student of Optometry, wrote in from the Federal University of Technology Owerri