Posted by By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi on
Fresh crisis is brewing in Anambra State following the activities of thugs and policemen at the Onitsha main market.
Fresh crisis is brewing in Anambra State following the activities of thugs and policemen at the Onitsha main market. Daily Sun gathered that in the last couple of days, thugs and policemen, allegedly acting on the orders of government, have invaded the market, evicting traders from their shops as well as destroying their ware. Some of the traders were allegedly inflicted with matchet cuts.
Mostly affected in these attacks, Daily Sun gathered, are traders of building materials as well as estate owners.
As a counter measure to the activities of the police and thugs, sources said traders are mobilising for a show down.
However, as a first move, the traders, under the aegis of Onitsha Building Materials Dealers Association and Estate Owners, have petition the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero over the thugs’ activities.
The traders, in their petition dated May 20, 2005 and sent through their lawyers, Rt. Hon Val Elosiuba and Co., have requested for 20 mobile policemen to guard them at their business locations in Ozomagala, Ezenwekwe and Whetheral Streets Onitsha.
The traders alleged that since after the relocation of some of their members to the available stalls at Ogidi new market site, near Onitsha, government agents have been using mobile policemen to force them out of their original trading locations in Onitsha metropolis.
A trader, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Sun that there were only 1,200 stalls at the building materials new site, whereas the number of traders to relocate there is 4,000 and wondered where the excess number of traders would be.
The petition reads in part: "On Sunday the 24th day of April 2005, some government agents … in the guise of legality, invaded our clients’ shops with some mobile policemen and thugs pulling down structures with bulldozers, looted out clients’ wares as they even broke saves and lockers and carted away money running into millions of naira."
The petition informs the IG that the attack on traders and looting of their wares have continued unabated. Adding that, "the incident was reported to the commissioner of police, Anambra State, but without result since the said commissioner is, from available evidence, highly interested in what these men are doing."
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