By Ben Ugorji, Owerri
Traders in Imo state whose shops and wares were bulldozed by the government, have drawn the battle line with the Governor, accusing him of suffocating them to death.
The government, through the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) demolished the World Bank Market in Owerri, Imo State, at the weekend.
The traders took to the streets of Owerri protesting over the demolition and raining abuses on the government.
They lamented that the state government only gave them notice to quit on Thursday, adding that the demolition of the structure was an insensitive decision by the state government.
One of the traders who pleaded anonymity said that what the government has done was to disposes them of their valuables and suffocate them to death.
He said, “I wonder how the government wants us to feed our families. As I speak to you, shops and goods worth millions of naira have been lost. This is height of wickedness!”
The General Manager of OCDA, Innocent Ikpamezie, in an interview, said that only shanties were destroyed by his agency.
Ikpamezie explained that he had in May and November, 2020, gone to the market to inform the traders of the government’s decision to demolish the shanties.
He further said the agency would not only stop at the demolition of the shanties but would also make sure that all the traders use structures in the main market.
Hear him, “I personally went to that market in May and November, 2020, with a public address system, telling the traders to vacate because the government wanted to destroy the shanties. What we destroyed was not the structures in the market but the shanties that were defacing the market.”