Gov’t Appeals To Marketers’ Conscience To Leave Redlight Again

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After the government hurriedly removed the marketers last year and took them to Omega Market, it is again appealing to them to go back to the newly constructed market hall and leave the main streets of Redlight, in order to save the nation the consequence of delaying the rehabilitation of that road project.

   “If the government does not complete the road construction it will pay a penalty,” Minister of Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill said, indicating the consequence of Liberia not doing so. “The President does not want to forcefully remove people from selling on the streets. We are appealing to the marketers to return to Omega Market.”

   Speaking with a bevy of journalists and few state actors in the Cecil Dennis Conference Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister McGill said, “Liberia is about to celebrate 200 years of existence, and the President has invited some of his friends to celebrate with us. The government is making sure that the country has a very good lift.”

   The bicentennial kick-off program, which was held on the Providence Island, will be officially commemorated on February 14, 2022. Before that, the government, through the Ministry of State, had called on every Liberian to clean up.

   “Whether you are a private or public land owners, the government, City Corporation will make sure those areas are cleaned,” Minister McGill said. “We want to make sure this country is presentable when our guests come.”

   Apart from the bicentennial, the re-flooding of Redlight Market and abandonment of the Omega Market has drawn government’s attention, according to Minister McGill.

   “The reason we are having this press conference is that the President and government do not want to use force to move our citizens from Redlight,” McGill said. “We want to engage with them to make sure that those at Redlight listen to the President.”

   “The last time we made an announcement for people, especially marketers at Redlight to leave the streets of Redlight,” Minister McGill reiterated.

   At present, a road construction is on-going at Redlight and international partners have set a timeframe for completion. The presence of the stubborn marketers is hindering the project.

   “It is financed by the World Bank. If it is not completed by April, the government is going to lose millions of dollars,” he said. “And our citizens are currently in the construction’s way.”

   “The President directed that we inform our people to please leave the Redlight Market. Please leave the Redlight Market.”

   To avoid citizens’ brutality in removing them, the government has planned to meet with the marketers along with other state actors on Friday.

   “We have therefore set up a committee to have meeting with them. Those to be in the meeting are the Minister of Justice, Minister of Internal Affairs, the Director General of GSA, the Mayor of the City of Paynesville, the Major of the City of Monrovia, Minister of Public Work, the leadership of Liberia Marketing Association, the leaderships of Redlight and Omega Market, and the Director of Police,” he said. “And that meeting is intended to appeal to our people to return to Omega.”

   With the huge population Redlight market has, the government prematurely removed them some time last year when the Omega Market was incomplete. They struggled for shelter and good atmosphere. With this, they eventually returned to Redlight and have taken possession of it, while government clamors to complete the current road construction.

   The Friday meeting, to be held at the Paynesville auditorium, may be the opportunity marketers have to return to Omega in peace, according to critics, because the Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, had announced destroying reconstructed booths by Thursday night, before the meeting.

   The government failed to maintain its removal order; it is again appealing to the marketers’ conscience to leave in peace. However, the government said it will launch a program that will prevent people from throwing waste on the streets. Major Jefferson Koije said cleanliness is next to godliness, saying it is a matter of must that everyone cleans his or her environment for the bicentennial celebration.

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