Akwa Ibom Begins Clampdown As Igbo Traders Take Over Businesses Space

Akwa Ibom Begins Clampdown As Igbo Traders Take Over Businesses Space
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BY INIOBONG SUNDAY, UYO

Akwa Ibom state government has expressed worry over the proliferation of petty businesses which have altered the aesthetic profile of Uyo, the state capital and threatened its status as one of the cleanest in the country.

As the continued agitation for self actualization by a section of the Southeast takes its toll on businesses and other ventures that sustained the economy of the zone in the last couple of years, Igbo merchants and businessmen have relocated their businesses to safer areas of Niger Delta, checks by our Correspondent revealed.

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Cashing in on the lackadaisical attitude to business by an average Akwa Ibom businessman, it was gathered that Igbos have filled the void with big and petty businesses taking over every space on the Uyo metropolis.

Along the major streets including Ikot Ekpene Road, Aka Road, Oron Road, Ikpa Road, several supermarkets and petty businesses including the itinerant ones far outnumbered those owned by the indigenous Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs.

Besides, phone technicians and sellers of phone accessories, around the Ibom plaza axis within the Uyo city centre, it was gathered, have become the exclusive trade of the migrant Igbos.

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“Our major preoccupation is business and we are like the Ijaws who are found anywhere the river flows to. We thrive mostly in business and the nation’s economy is basically sustained by us.

“Most of the times, we go out to bring business to sell in our communities or take what we have to other areas that do not have them.

“But, with current development, we are at a loss as to why the agitation has taken this dangerous dimension whereby people are forced to sit at home.  

“People whose livelihood depends on business are forced to abandon their wares and sit at home doing nothing and our children are dying of hunger and starvation.

“It is a sad commentary that we found ourselves here in the neighbouring Akwa Ibom. Others of my kith and kins have migrated to other areas of Niger Delta including Rivers, Cross Rriver, Bayelsa, Edo and Delta states”, Chukwu Nwanu, a dealer in female fabrics told our Correspondent.

Around the metropolis, businesses of different hue choked the environment, especially in the evening hours with attendant noise pollution.

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Loud speakers mounted on motorized vehicles announced herbal drugs which the igbo vendors claim they cure virtually all sort of ailments, ranging from hypertension, diabetes, fibroid to all degrees of venereal infections.

Worried by the noise effects on the society, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Umoh, has said the state government has concluded plans to check unwholesome herbal drugs, noting that they constituted serious health hazards to the people.

According to him, “the state government will soon inaugurate a Joint Task Force (JTF) to check the menace and the noise pollution the vendors cause in the society”.

Also, the seizure of every space in the evening hours to display wares for sale have attracted the state government’s attention, forcing a clamp down on perpetrators.

Task force team comprising members of the security agencies – the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and private security personnel, had impounded wares whose owners strayed to cover a portion of the road.

The leader of the team, who doubles as the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Waste Management Agency, Mr. Akpan Ikim, led the task force that seized the goods, whose owners were said to have been levied before being allowed to retrieve them.

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“Akwa Ibom state is one of the safest states in the country and we cannot afford to let the beuty of the metropolis to be rubbished by desperate business owners.

“We have informed them severally and they won’t heed our advice to get shops and display their businesses, instead of chocking the streets and forcing the traffic to jam on the metropolis”, Ikim explained.

He, therefore, warned owners of businesses around the major markets including Itam, Akpan Andem, Ikot Ambang and others on the metropolis, to observe high level of decorum while displaying their businesses or risk being seized by the prying task force team.

Aljazirahnews


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Akwa Ibom GovernmentIgbo TradersSit-at-home