The Mile One Market Traders Association (MOMTA), Diobu, Port Harcourt are still in shock over the sudden death of Chief Young O.C. Georgewill, one of their strong pillar in the market.
The news of the death of Chief Georgewill they say was a rude shock to the traders, most of whom were looking up to him as a fearless leader to help in ensuring that the shop owners at the rebuilt phase II of the market recently commissioned will still be considered to get back their burnt shops.
The news of Georgewill's death is coming on the heels of the locking of his shop by the order of the Port Harcourt Mayor, Hon Victor Ihunwo over what the council considers as Georgewill's intransigencies.
Late Georgewill's shop was locked up in September for alleged refusal to accept government decision of balloting as a means of allocating shops in the newly constructed market.
It would be recalled that Georgewill had stood his ground in his rejection of balloting for the new shops or any other method except considering the original shop owners first.
He had pleaded with the government to consider the original owners first and throw up the remaining ones for balloting which fall on deaf ear.
When the government refused the suggestion, Georgewill and his executives proceeded to the court of law for adjudication.
In course of this struggle, Georgewill's shop was locked for over two months now which affected his means of livelihood and eventual deteriorating health.
Many traders interviewed expressed mixed feelings over the death of the Kalabari born leader.
According to one Chief Cletud Amadi “Georgewill was a fearless and courageous leader but his fault is that he is a tribalist to a fault. He will however be remembered for his advocacy legacy.
Another trader Mr. Boniface Ohaka, said while they mourn his painful exit, they will ensure that they pick up the mantle of struggle to reclaim their shops.
“His death will ginger us to continue with the struggle”, he declared.
The MOMTA traders wondered how one will loose everything during the inferno and loose their hard earned shops again and appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to reconsider his decision on the shop allocation.