Palpable chaos broke out in Owerri, Imo State on Monday, November 13, 2017 after a group of embittered traders stormed the state government house demanding to see Governor Rochas Okorocha following the demolition of Owerri main market.
The protesting traders who were relocated to Industrial Cluster, Naze, barricaded the main entrance to the Government House and swore to remain there until Okorocha comes out to address them over the issue.
Attempts by security officials to calm the raging protesters proved abortive as they brandished different placards.
Some of the aggrieved traders identified as John Okeke and Ebere Ndu, respectively hinted that the government ordered that they be sent to the industrial market oblivious of their welfare.
Okeke said, “The government just sent us to the Naze Industrial Cluster, but we are suffering there.
“Hunger is killing most of us, as our perishable goods rot away because nobody comes to buy from us and our welfare is not guaranteed.”
“They asked us to move to industrial cluster, we obeyed; but they allowed others to continue trading there.
“As I speak to you, there is trading at the demolished Owerri main market, including street trading along the Douglas road. It wasn’t part of our agreement with the government.”
Corroborating Okeke’s complaints, Ndu said they are facing some difficult times since the relocation as people prefer making purchases at the demolished Owerri main market since it was closer to the town.
He said: “Our goods spoil regularly. It costs us great losses because there is no patronage. Where we are staying now is a bit far from town.
“As long as the government encourages street trading and economic activities at the demolished Owerri main market, we will not be making sales.”