Exhibitors at the ongoing Jos Trade Fair on Sunday protested against the early closure of the event, and demanded for an extension to make up for days lost to security challenges.
The Fair, which was initially billed to hold from Oct. 12 to Oct. 28, did not commence till Oct. 16, following skirmishes in some parts of the Plateau capital.
The slated closing date of Sunday, Oct. 28, was however retained.
Some exhibitors, who spoke with journalists in Jos, said that the fair should have been extended to make up for the days the postponement lasted.
Bolanle Ajayi , an exhibitor from Badagry in Lagos, said that she had not made any reasonable sales from the fair, adding that most of the people had not been paid October salaries.
“I am not going anywhere without selling my goods; it is completely unfair to ask us to vacate the arena without an extension of at least two days,” she said.
Another exhibitor from Lagos, Aina Ayomide, said that she brought in so many goods from Lagos and the thought of taking them back home was disheartening.
“We want an extension of at least two days so that salaries will be paid.
“We are optimistic that people will buy if they are paid because some have come here and promised to return when they are paid,” she said.
Ibrahim Audu, from Kano, said that the recent skirmishes could be the reason for the early closure, but pointed out that normalcy had returned to the city.
“There were the initial fears and uncertainty when we arrived Jos, but the security situation has improved tremendously,” he said.
Fausat Adigun, who sells kitchen utensils, said she came into Jos four days after the Fair started.
“I delayed my arrival to enable me observe the security situation. It won’t be fair to close business just when it is at its peak,” he said.
The organisers wrote a letter on Friday in which they directed the exhibitors to vacate the Fair ground on Sunday.