The Imo State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Hon. Simon Ebegbulem was welcomed by an aggrieved crowd in Naze Industrial Cluster Market while on a working visit to the market in the city of Owerri Imo State.
The Crowd consisting of traders were happy to see the commissioner as this marks an end to the harassment they claimed they have been facing in the hands of one Mr. Obiwanne, who they said claims to be the owner of the Naze Industrial Cluster Market.
They stated he uses thugs led by one Mr. Marenren to extort and terrorize the market men and women. Some aggrieved traders recounted that their goods are seized and stolen most of the time.
Some traders who spoke under the condition of anonymity, fearing being attacked, said that Mr. Obiwanne's hirelings have perfected the habit of meting out hardship, including physical beatings, harassment, extortion and destruction of their wares.
They further alleged that the thugs who have constituted themselves into law onto themselves, perpetrate their heinous acts in the evenings, when the sellers are most vulnerable. They called on the state government to come to their rescue.
Addressing the aggrieved traders, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Simon Ebegbulem, assured them that such harassment had ended because no individual had any right to collect fees or charge any levies on the traders, their stalls or businesses as the market is owned by the Imo State Government.
He gave them his word that an investigation would be carried out with immediate alacrity and the perpetrators brought to book as the Governor Hope Uzodinma’s led Government of Shared Prosperity had no room for intimidators or bullies.
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