Hoodlums invade Imo automobile market, steal cars

Hoodlums in the early hours of Wednesday invaded the multi-million naira Imo Automobile market at Naze in the Owerri North local government area, vandalized the premises and made away with some state of the art cars.
The market which situates on the ever-busy Owerri/Aba road adjacent the Nigerian Airforce base was reportedly ransacked by the urchins who cater pulled down the iron fence of the market.
Chairman of the board of the Imo State Automobile Dealers Association, Chief Rufus Osueke who briefed newsmen on the incident said that property estimated at over N10 million was  destroyed by the hoodlums.
Osueke – a two time Mbaitoli local government council chairman, regretted that the traders who were moved from the previous place of business on Egbu road Owerri to their present site by the state government had become victims of the whims and caprices of the same government that is now intent to move them again to a new site.
“But as law abiding citizens, we have agreed to move to any conducive place to continue our business despite the fact that we single handedly cleared the land here and injected over N100 million worth of infrastructure in this market which was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission.
To buttress his point, Chief Osueke brandished a copy  of a letter dated 16th May 2015 entitled “
relocation of automobile market/Dealers” addressed to governor Rochas Okorochas wherein the car dealers demanded conditionalities for their relocation, a parcel of land not less than 5 hectares which must be parcelated into plots, formal letters of allocation/certificate of occupancy issued to avoid being moved again by successive governments and adequate security including police post and perimeter fencing.
The letter, signed by the General President – Chief Jude Nnawuihe and General Secretary Carmilius Njoku also demanded provision of infrastructural facilities, payment of compensation for the respective shops/offices which will be abandoned at the market and adequate time to be given to the car dealers to erect offices at the new site.
He said that the proposed new site at Agbala was unconducive and unacceptable to his men because of its location on the highway and without security and other enabling facilities.
Osueke vowed that the traders would never move to government’s proposed site until their requirements are met.
The aggrieved car dealers who  later barricaded the Owerri/Aba road in protest against their ordeal were later dispersed by men of the Nigerian Airforce who share the same fence with the automobile market as they  tear-gas them.
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