Reinstated Soppo market resurrects old risks

When Senator Charles Mbella Moki, the immediate past Mayor of Buea conceived the idea of moving the Great Soppo Market to a more convenient location in Bokwai, the explanation was that its previous location around Cameroon Opportunity Industrialization Centre, OIC, was a drag to free flow of traffic in the city of legendary hospitality. However, a new phenomenon that is materializing in an even more promising market has been inching its way into the physiognomy of the town directly opposite where the transferred market was located.
Soppo market was posing a lot of challenges like traffic congestion, risking the lives of market goers and pedestrians alike,as buying and selling in the market advanced almost to the centre of the main road. It was therefore in the spirit of curbing these threats that the market was transferred to a safer place dubbed the “Buea Central Market.” But today, despite the motive for that decision, another market opposite COIC, has been established with the same threatening features.
The market which started just with locally cultivated crops has now turned into a complete market or super market with many Buea inhabitants flooding in and out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Rambler took interest in this worrisome phenomenon and decided to seek reasons why the current circumstance came into being.
According to Desmond Mua, a trader at the newly established market, it is related to land grabbing and not just congestion.
He added that many people prefer the current market in Soppo because it is in the centre of the town. Going by him, those from Buea Town and Molyko can easily access or visit the market, which is less costly and less stressfully but, that the present Buea Central Market is at the outskirts of the town. Here, he said, many face challenges just getting there to purchase one thing or the other.
Mua like his counterparts applauded the initiative of establishing another market that could replace the old Soppo market. He advised, “The market is even getting smaller and with time if nothing is done, some traders would place their business items at the centre of the main road just to sell. Already, we are experiencing little fights here and there on each market day just because of space to sell goods. I would advise the Buea Council that, if it is possible to demolish some private homes or residents around the market to create space, it would be better and would go a long way to solving the issue of space we now face.”
Though the market is gradually but surely posing a challenge of general chaos, traffic congestion besides being the ultimate death trap to denizens, it seems authorities have decided to be blinded over this issue. All attempts to talk to competent municipal authorities pertaining to this issue were futile.
By Relindise Ebune

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