THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF UYO MAIN MARKET RIOT OF 1998

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of Study 

          A number of historical documents on Uyo history are focused on the political, social, or cultural dimensions of largely unexplored terrain of Uyo history.1In his book titled, An Economic History of West Africa; A. G. Hopkins supports the position of the important of economic history thus:

Yet economic history is not necessarily narrow history, nor is it history without people on the contrary, in trying to reconstruct the history of internal trade, the economic historian is brought into close contact with the lives of the greater majority of Africans – women as well as men.2

          Factors that contribute to empires rise to their peak and the causes of their collapse are somewhat tied to the economic dimensions of such a society. The economic aspects of a society are always interpreted from the understanding of the interplay between the people and their environment.The knowledge of the environment provides an essential back drop to the study of the people’s economy.3

          Uyo main market provides a window for studying an aspect of the economic history of Uyo people.Put differently, Uyo main market provides a ventilation in understanding the relationship between producers and consumers of product through various channels and sectors within Uyosociety and her environs.

          Apart from Uyo main market, there is another market known as UruaAkpanEdem. Uyo main market before its relocation was located along OronRoad (the present location of Ibom Plaza) and had entry and exist points from Aka Road, Udoumana, Etuk Street, NyongEssienStreet, Udoma Street, Enwne Street with the main gate at Oron Road. Themain market apart from being situated in Uyovillage in Uyo Local Government Area, witnessed the presence of people from different linguistic backgrounds such as the Igbo, the Hausa, and the Yoruba. Themain market had market dimensions for food stuffs, clothing, accessories etc.

          The market had executives who were elected periodically by traders of the market community led by the president and a woman leader.The market brought about economic interaction in the environs and thus, increased the economic and living standard of the people of Uyo. Again, the main market createdsocial interaction among traders and customers who engaged in transactions.

Statement of Problem

          Market are sites where economic exchanges occur: physical locations such as farmer’s market, malls, or downtown shopping areas; to mention a few. People go to market to find commodities can be met with products they own and are willing to sell.4

          Uyo main market is in Uyo village, Uyo Local Government Area of AkwaIbom State. Nothing has been written about this market. The dearth of written documents on Uyomain market has masked a lot of information on the market regarding its history from cradle in respect to migration and settlement of the people of Uyoas well as their development strides in historical time and perspective.

          This study is intended to correct this noted paucity in the cases and effects ofUyo main market riot of 1998. It concerns itself with such questions as to how the market started and how the people of Uyo came to occupy their present abode; what have constituted their profile in terms of economy and socials as well as the relationship between uyo people and their neighbours.

Objectives of the Study

          The cardinal objectives of this study are:-

  • Todescribe and define what a market is
  • To present the root cause and effect of Uyo main market
  • To trace the routes of migration an settlement of Uyopeople in their present location
  • To expose on the political, economic and social institutions of Uyopeople.
  • To illuminates the consequences and impacts of Uyomain market.

Clarification of Terms

          The terms used in this study are explained as follows:

Urua             –        this means market

Esio             –        pot    

Usan            –        plate

Adan            –        palm oil

Afoun           –        cloth

Udia             –        yam

Ntuen           –        pepper

Methodology

           This study uses two basic sources of information for its write-up.  These are theprimary and secondarysources. Primary sources are concerned with the use of oral history in obtaining information concerning the research topic secondary sources are obtained from textbooks, journals, published and unpublished thesis that were consulted in the course of the research.

          After the interview, the pieces of information obtained from the field were subjected to scrutiny; using the four elements of historical reconstruction, so as to ascertain the nature of facts. These four elements of historical reconstruction are analysis, chronology, evidence and comprehension.

Significance of the Study

          The research on Uyo main market riot of 1998 is of great significance with the following views. The research will create an awareness of the strategic economic importance of Uyo main market in integrating other economic activities; that abound in the area.

          The study also reveals the during force that influenced government policies in relocating the market to its present location.In the face of the acute problem of unemployment which is described as the plaque hunting Nigeria.5The research also attempts at evaluating the impact of Uyo main market in addressing the issue of unemployment in Uyo society and its environs.           Very significantly also is the fact that, the research adds value to academics and other existing literatures.

THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF UYO MAIN MARKET RIOT OF 1998