By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
After building and sand feeling of refinery market for 35years, the Nigerian Navy on Tuesday ejected traders away from the popular slaughter market within its land along the refinery road in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Navy also chased away illegal occupants out of its barracks, AUTHENTIC News Daily reports.
It was learnt that Naval Officers and ratings of the Navy have taken over the market.
They used”restriction rope to tie shops together as well as block major entrance into the market just as they denied traders and buyers access as early as 8am with sticks in their hands.
AUTHENTIC News Daily report that in spite of the action carried out, the Naval Personnel did not harass, intimidate or injure any of the traders.
All the traders who spoke with our correspondent, confirmed that none of them were harrassed, intimidated and injured by the Naval Personnel.
The Nigerian Navy Ship in Warri, Delta State, NNS Delta confirmed that it ejected the traders and occupants from the land.
The Commander of NNS Delta Commander, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu said,”The land belongs to the Navy.”
Commodore Ibrahim Dewu who spoke through the Executive Officer of NNS Delta, Navy Capt. Adewuyi said,”The market has become a hide out for criminals and drug addicts.
“The directive came from the Naval Headquarters that we should eject them from there because the Navy will be developing that place any moment from now.
” We gave them quit notice for the past onr month. It was widely circulated. We ought to have done this but we postponed it because of the election so that people do not misinterprete our actions.
“They should start leaving that place for their own interests before we start developing in the next days. The Navy will start demolishing structures and shanties in the next days.”
At the time of filing this report, some of the traders have relocated to the median and other side of the road to do their business.
Others were seen evacuating their wares and wreckages from the market to meet up with the Navy’s one hour ultimatum to leave. The traders are begging the Naval authority to allow them more time to fix up before they could evacuate the market totally.
Chairperson of the market, Black Obodo in a chat with our correspondent said,”Navy wants to take over the market.”
Obodo who has been a a cow meat seller for over thirty five years in the market, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to come to the rescue of the traders.
The Chairman of the market, Comrade Sunny Ezewu said the Navy issued the traders quit notice to vacate the land.
Comrade Ezewu said,”The Navy have given us quit notice that we should pack on the 16th of this month and the notice came on the 30th of February. “
Comrade Ezewu said the traders have made several attempts to settle the issue with the Navy (FOC&CO,NNS Delta) who assured him that everything was under control.
He expressed surprise that he saw the Navy used “restriction rope” to tie virtually all shops denying them access into the market.
According to him, “This one makes it the third time they have scattered our market. Government should come to our aid because we are suffering.”
A trader in the market, Mrs. Priscilla Ogbe, corroborated the claims of the leadership of the market saying,”They should consider us. We have nowhere to go. We feed from here. This is our only hope. They should consider us.”
A fish seller in the market, Rebecca Joshua said the Delta State Government should help the traders.
A cow meat seller, Favour Ovwovwo also neared her minds on the matter.
A buyer, Mrs. Laurenta Idiabeta who was spotted buying frozen chicken at the middle of the road said,”It is a big stress for buyers and traders and Government should do something about it fast.”
A frozen chicken dealer, Miss Glory Ndubuaku also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa to come to the rescue of the traders.