Dislodged Eke Ukwu market traders lament govt clampdown order

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TRADERS from the demolished Eke ukwu market, Owerri, Imo State who shop their wares here and there at the weekend frowned over the government continuous clamp down on them.
The state government, it could be recalled, had in September, last year demolished the Eke ukwu Market, Owerri and gave a directive that all the traders in the said daily market should pack their items to the newly built modern market at Egbeada in Ubonmiri, Mbaitoli L.G.A of Imo State. This demolition attracted wide spread condemnation, especially as the life of one young Somtochukwu Ibeanusi was caught by the stray bullet of the government security agents.
Irrespective of the ongoing construction work at the government new site at the Egbeada, traders felt maltreated, they were chased away like strangers without identity. Street traders and hawkers were not spared as the government has ordered all of them to leave the area without further delay.
Our reporter in Owerri gathered that there was tension at the market over the weekend as the state security agents were on hand to enforce compliance. When asked, a member of the task force said, “these people have been told severally to vacate this place but would not comply”.
He said that the state demolished the market in line with its urban renewal programme and shall have no structure spared, if it constitutes nuisance to the renewal process.
A trader who was affected by the demolition but does not want not his name in print, said that there was no formal consultation with its leadership either, but were chased out and warned not to be trading there any longer without alternative place for their respective businesses.

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