The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Marketers’ Relocation Reinforcement Stalls
Normal Activities In Red-light Commercial Hub

By Bill W. Cooper
It seems as though the government might succeed in its reinforcement exercise of relocating marketers from the Gobarchop and Red-light Markets to the 14th Gobarchop Market in the Omega community in Paynesville.
The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) along with the Paynesville City Corporation and members of the joint security began the relocation process early Monday morning following the deploying of several officers of the Liberia National Police at various strategic points of the market.
The reinforcement exercise which kicked off yesterday led to the shutting down of all stores within the vicinity of the commercial hub of Red-light with an objective of making way for the contractors from the Ministry of Public Works to smoothly continue the road construction works between the Coca Cola Factory to ELWA Junction corridor.
Recently, some marketers were seen carrying on their normal business activities in the commercial hub that hosts the Red-light and Gobarchop Markets thereby being defiant to government’s two weeks ultimatum that mandated them to relocate to the newly constructed 14th Gobarchop Market.
The marketers remained adamant, resolute and unbending to leave the Red-light and Gbobarchov on grounds that the new market cannot accommodate all of them and that there were other facilities lacking.
Accordingly, our reporter who visited the scene during the reinforcement exercise yesterday, observed that officers were deployed at all entry points to the markets as a means of ensuring that no one marketer or buyer is allowed into any of the markets for business purpose.
The exercise was intensive to the extent that it did not only witness the closure of wholesale stores but also stalled normal business activities that even commercial motorcycles and Kehkehs including all vehicles were prohibited from entering the market vicinity.
Our reporter further narrated that the exercise which began at about 2:A.M apparently took the marketers unaware thus creating a scene as if there was some bereavement or as if it was a cemetery which witnessed the commencement of an unhindered work day by the contractors.
Furthermore, in an interview with team of journalists, the LNP Deputy Inspector General, Marvin Sackor, vowed to ensure that the government succeeds in the relocation process by applying all necessary strategies and means to get a long-term result which is the completion of the work within the given timeframe.
“I have not been involved with this process before but all I can say is that with my involvement now, there will be no more selling in this market until the construction work on the road is completed,” he vowed.
However, Col. Sackor reported the arrest of two marketers whom he said were very defiant during the reinforcement exercise, adding, “Those individuals will be charged and forwarded to court for prosecution in accordance with the law for obstructing such functions.”
It can be recalled that before and following the completion of the 14th Gobarchop Market, the Liberian government pleaded with the marketers through their respective heads and began their relocation process as a means of carrying out the construction works along the main route from the Coca Cola Factory towards the ELWA Junction.
Following the negotiations, the government informed marketers that they will have to blame themselves if for any reason they meet-up with excessive force from states security under the designated committee made-up of the Monrovia and Paynesville City Corporations, Public Works, Internal Affairs, Justice Ministry and LNP for failure on their part to adhere to government’s mandate.
Though some marketers relocated and have found their spaces, some have remained resolute and adamant in remaining within the commercial hub of the Red-light Market despite the government’s mandate and several other interventions through various meetings thereby making some who had relocated earlier to begin returning to the Red-light venue for business on a daily business; an attitude that had slowed down the work of the contractors.
Some of the marketers described the government’s action as a “one week thing” and publicly wondered, “They are just trying to show themselves because how long will they do this enforcement thing for?”
“They should really stand strong because after one or two days, we will still come back and do our normal business. This is Liberia and nothing can last forever; so we are patiently waiting,” the marketers resolved.

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