Palm Oil Dealers Call On Gov Otti To Intervene As Violence Looms In The Market Over Illegal Collection Of Taxes

By NewsCritic Reporters

The United Palm Oil Dealers Association Umuopara Palm Oil Beach Umuahia has drawn the attention of the Abia State Governor His Excellency Dr Alex Otti and the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Dr Chimezie Ukaegbu to the looming violence and security breach at the Palm Oil Beach Umuopara, as a result of the illegal activities of the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria officials.

The leader of this group by name Chima Ukaegbu and his group are said to be using armed thugs to be terrorising traders at the market, and collecting illegal levies against the directive of the Abia State government, while locking up shops of traders who failed to comply with their payment order.

According to one of the traders whose shop was locked up by this group, Mr Ezeala Chinwendu, the traders who refused to obey them are ordered to leave the market and their shops locked up by these armed thugs.

He said the situation in the market at the moment is very tensed up because traders whose shops were shut and banned from entering the market may resort to self help if nothing is done to call Chima Ukaegbu and his men to order.

“We the traders are appealing to our capable Governor to intervene immediately to stop this group from disturbing public peace and threatening the lives of our law-abiding traders who are going about their legitimate businesses.

In a formal complaint to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Zone 9 Umuahia dated September 5th, 2023 members of the United Palm Oil Dealers Association Umuopara through their counsel Victor A Mbanaso, said that the persons threatening and locking their shops belong to a different association called National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria.

 Mbanaso wrote that “first they issued an order that our clients’ association should never hold any meetings or they and their thugs will descend on them and kill and maim them. They have now resorted to using their thugs whom they have armed with guns to threaten and harass our clients.

“They often order our clients to lock their shops and leave the markets or the thugs with guns will kill them, they have equally threatened that our clients will see worse things happen. He said if his clients challenge or resist these people and their armed thugs, bloodshed and loss of lives will certainly ensue, and a breakdown of law and order”.

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