Imo traders aggrieved over their relocation from Owerri Main Market to Industrial Cluster, Naze, after government demolished the former, protested on Monday. They stormed the Imo State Government House, Owerri, and insisted Governor Rochas Okorocha speak to them. The traders carried different placards that state their grievances and were singing in front of the government.
Two of the protesters, John Okeke and Ebere Ndu, reportedly told journalists said they had suffered low patronage at the relocated market.
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,” Okeke said.
Ndu complained that the development was affecting them, adding that people prefer to make purchases at the demolished Owerri main market because it is closer to the town than coming to the new site at Naze.
“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,” Ndu said.
The traders said they were at the Government House to ensure that Governor Okorocha orders every trader to the new site.