By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri – Fears have gripped hundreds of traders within the Owerri metropolis, after the Imo state government gave them 72 hours to vacate.
The fears Vanguard gathered Tuesday in Owerri, was that the traders said that the government failed to include in the announcement an alternative place for them to continue their petty businesses with which they sustain their families.
But the government through the General Manager of Imo state Environmental Transformation Commission, ENTRACO, Alex Emeziem, said that the order must be obeyed and that it’s operation targets only those occupying illegal structures in the areas mentioned.
According to the government, it’s part of the rebuild Imo programme and tree planting project for beautification purposes.
However, the government said it regreted the inconveniences the order could cause them.
According to the government, the programme for which the 72 hour ultimatum was given stated: “All those doing business between Naze Roundabout and the road verge to Emmanuel College Roundabout, should vacate the area immediately.
“All persons occupying the Green Verge from Emmanuel College (New Road) to Umezuruike Hospital Opposite SGI Cabinet Office Owerri should also vacate immediately.
“All persons occupying Illegal structures where they carry out their respective businesses from Akanchawa Road to Port Harcourt Road junction should also vacate.
“All these affected areas must be vacated within 72 hours of this announcement to enable the state government carry out its beautification and tree planting programme.
“Defaulters risk prosecution. We regret the inconveniences this movement might cause you.”
As part of the order would lead to shutting down operators of illegal motor parks as well as addressing the issue of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state capital and it’s environs.