Traders debunk attack on Palm workers in Imo

By Athan Agbakwuru

The Imo State Amalgamated Market and Traders Association, ISAMATA, has denied the allegation that its staff attacked workers of Imo Palm Produce Company at Irete in Owerri West LGA, along Owerri/Onitsha Expressway.

Secretary of the association Hon. DonChris Okere who clarified the situation yesterday during a chat with newsmen in Owerri explained that those who allegedly attacked the workers of Imo Palm Produce are not the staff of ISAMATA, as being peddled in some quarters.

Okere stated that the association never deployed any of its staff to the place to either attack anybody or know the activities of Palm Produce for any reason.

He disclosed that Imo State Palm Produce is not under ISAMATA but under a different department in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry pointing out that government has no plans to conduct an election for the market associations due to the prevailing insecurity in the state.

His words, “Those attackers are not our members and we did not send anybody to go there to beat anybody. Since the inception of ISAMATA, traders in the state now have a strong voice unlike before when the reverse was the case.

“Before it was easy for any government to go into the market and destroy it, but today such things no longer happen because the traders today have a voice.”

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Okere hinted that about 420 shop owners at the Ekeukwu Owerri market whose shops were demolished by the Okoracha administration have regained their shops through the intervention of ISAMATA in collaboration with the current administration in the state while assuring that more traders will also get back their shops.

Commenting on the achievements of the current leadership of ISAMATA, Okere asserted that under the present leadership of ISAMATA since inception, has never staged any protest by traders in the state.

“Within this period of ISAMATA, the traders have been able to access some loans and palliatives from government resulting from their good relationship and partnership with the power that be,” he said.

He commended the giant strides of the Hope Uzodinma administration in the area of infrastructure, especially for building accessible roads around the Relief Market Owerri that have promoted easy and smooth business.

According to him, the association has drawn the attention of the state government to the menace of deep gully erosion ravaging the Timber Market at Naze in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.

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