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Anambra Traders Groan As ACTDA Demolishes Illegal Structures

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There is mild pandemonium in Anambra State over the destruction and burning of shanties, wares and properties of traders along the Regina Ceali Junction and Y-Junction of Okpuno in Awka South Local Government Area of the state, The Eastern Updates has learnt. 

The demolition, which actually began on Tuesday, was carried out by the management of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority and led by its Chairman, Ossy Onuko, in collaboration with the Development Control Unit of ACTDA and Rapid Response Unit of the agency.

The demolition also affected traders at UNIZIK Tempsite, Oby Okoli Avenue, Okpuno, Abakiliki Street, and Club Road areas of Awka.

It was gathered that the demolition began at the expiration of several warnings and quit notices served to the traders.

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Reporters who visited the area on Thursday gathered that the shanties were not only demolished, the traders properties, including wares, food items, among others, were also set ablaze by the officials who carried out the exercise in the presence of security personnel.

The Head of the ACTDA Development Control Unit, Charles Ekwunife, who spoke to journalists, stated that the onslaught became necessary as shanties and other illegal structures and business activities had greatly contributed to the negative state of the environment.

Ekwunife, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director of Awka Capital Development Authority, Onuko, said the outright demolition underscored the seriousness of the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, about law and order restoration.

He insisted that the agency would not condone any form of illegality across its jurisdiction.

He advised traders to desist from setting up illegal structures and trading along the streets, as according to him, the government would leave no stone unturned to rid  Awka of illegal structures and shanties.

He said, “Those shanties put up on the roads deface Awka. Take your goods to the market and sell them. These are roads and streets not meant for trading and Awka Capital Territory is one of them.

“One of the cardinal objectives of the Soludo administration is to build a peaceful, livable and prosperous homeland to aid rapid growth and development of the state, hence the defacement of the capital city by the hawkers and road traders will not be condoned.

“This is part of the management’s efforts to restore orderliness in the Awka Capital City and return it to its Capital Territory Status. The ACTDA is all out to wipe out impunity in the system and instil discipline and rule of law. Petty traders are advised to comply with the demand and expectations of the authority to avoid regrets.”

Meanwhile, a cross-section of traders who spoke with our correspondent in Awka, on Thursday, said they were worried that their wares, items and property were set ablaze and the exercise had rather worsened their situation.

Among the affected traders who spoke, a food vendor, identified as Madam Chinwe, said, “They invaded my shop unannounced and started packing my food items, both cooked and uncooked, including other properties outside after which they set ablaze.

The Eastern Updates

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