- Omega Marketers warn, complain of hardship
By. Jerromie S. Walters
Paynesville, Liberia, November 2, 2022: Hundreds of angry marketers in Omega market, which is the center of business, have said they will go back to the famous Red Light market in the next few days if the government fails to remove those that are disobeying its order.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, the women said they are being challenged with the purchase of their goods due to the presence of other marketers that have resettled in Red Light, where more customers will find it easier to stay than go to Omega.
Esther Tantany, a marketer who’s solely involved in the sale of vegetables, said the majority of her goods have been damaged due to the poor or low buying in the Omega market.
“Our markets are spoiling, and even the money we brought here, everything is damaged because others have left from here and gone back to Red Light, and every customer that belongs to us is stopping at Red Light, so there’s no one to buy from us,” she said.
She continues, “We are the marketers that respect the President. We respected his order that we should come, and because of that, we came, but all of a sudden we saw other people going back to making their businesses in Red Light and other places, and it has brought embarrassment to us, so if it can’t be addressed between now and Thursday, we will go back to Red Light also.
She said they feel betrayed, especially after they leave Red Light because the government told them to, but nothing is being done to help them with their problems.
“We are calling on the President, so he can work with the superintendent to bring back Red Light to Omega, but if he can not do it, we will go back, and even if it will cause us to sell on the main road, we will sell there because it has been difficult for us and there’s no understanding in our business,” they said.
However, Garmah Tokpah said due to the challenge from the low consumption in the Omega market, her children are not in school currently and she has not been able to pay her house rent.
She encouraged the President and his cabinet to collaborate with the superintendent to restore Red Light to Omega, but added that if their concerns are not heard, they will return, even if it means having their goods sold on the main road, because there has been absolutely no understanding in their business for the past few months.
“This one is about two weeks old, it’s about 6, 000 in total, and I’m owing the people’s club money and all the markets have spoiled.” “I’m worrying until I get sick, George Weah; if the Red Light people don’t come from now to Thursday, we will go back there too,” an elderly woman believed to be in her late 60s lamented.
While speaking in dismay, Kemah P. Kollie said the current state of business at Omega is extremely difficult for them. As such, the President should use his authority to ensure that the marketers are relocated back to Omega
“When we were in Red Light, we used to make money, but here we are selling and not getting anything while our businesses are damaged, and this is what we depend on to support our children, so the government needs to try,” she noted.
She said that if the government fails to do so in the coming days, they will be left with no other alternative but to move to Red Light and other markets that are ahead of Omega to continue their business.
The marketers say that their coworkers who suddenly went back to Red Light after the President’s order told them that the government told them they wouldn’t be taken off Red Light.
They believe the President’s inability to address the issue is being prompted by politics, as he thinks he will be voted against if he gets them off the market
At the same time, the Superintendent of
Mr. McClain B. Jallah, confined to the marketers’ concern, thus
We want the government to use their influence to get the marketers from Red Light to go back to Omega.
“You can’t have people selling in front and have people pass by them and come behind here to Omega, so they are right and those people that respect the order of the government are here, so the government needs to prioritize them and not those that are disrespecting them,” he added.
He said that the Omega market is getting worse because a lot of marketers are going back to Red Light, which he thinks is because of politics.
“We know politics is being played by some other guys that are moving the people back to Red Light, and
People don’t want the image of the president to be praised when they come and incite the marketers to move.
“Like some of the small traders, they are trying to get other business people to move,” he said.
He also said that people have tried to get in touch with the Public Works Minister and other cabinet members, but so far they haven’t answered his calls.
Mr. McClain B. Jallah said that Omega Market has enough room for all of the Red Light marketers, but he doesn’t know why they won’t move there.
In early June 2021, hundreds of sellers moved from Red Light Market to the 14th Gobachou Market in Omega, which had been opened earlier that year by President George Weah. This made Red Light Market a less stressful place to do business.
The relocation of marketers to the Gobachou Market followed a series of negotiations between the heads of the market, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Government of Liberia, and it officially started on Monday, July 12, 2021.
The Red Light Market is a huge commercial site that is situated in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. People have thought of it as the best place to buy cheap goods, and street vendors are always there.
Contractors from the Ministry of Public Works have had a harder time building and finishing the Redlight to Kakaata highway expansion because of how many people live there. This has slowed down progress.
However, the locomotion tragedy attracted scores of media entities in the country, as the marketers raised countless concerns while trooping to their new home. People said they needed more time because the new place didn’t have some things they needed.
As a result of the different concerns, big changes were made to address the things they brought up. For example, roads were opened and more markets were built to accommodate them.
The departure of merchants from Red Light was a dramatic event that Liberians and people all over the world watched. It was the end of a process that several governments had tried to complete but failed.
But many Liberians still didn’t believe that the marketers would ever come back to Red Light again, which is what they have finally shown.