Actions Of ACTDA Officials Against Traders Barbaric, Atavistic, Irresponsible — Anambra Lawmaker 

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka

The Deputy Minority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly and Member representing Ogbaru 1 State Constituency, Hon. Noble Chukwunonso Igwe, has described as barbaric, atavistic and irresponsible the actions of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) in the state capital, Awka.
Igwe, who spoke exclusively with NewsProbe in his office at the assembly complex Awka, complained that the way and manner in which ACTDA carried out its demolitions in Awka were completely illegal, inhuman and could degenerate into full blown social unrest, should the agency continue to demolish and burn the means of livelihoods of the poor masses who barely have up to N100,000 as capital.
Igwe maintained that irrespective of the fact that ACTDA claimed to sanitize the state capital through destructions and demolitions of illegal structures, shanties as well as ward off street traders defacing Awka, he opined that the agency should apply some human face in their operations rather than using machetes, axes and other weapons to terrorise and intimidate traders.
The lawmaker described as arrant wickedness the actions of using axes, machetes and combustibles to destroy and burn the goods and properties of common petty traders in the name of enforcing orderliness in the state capital.
He said, “The actions of ACTDA officials is more or less touting. If someone is flouting the laws of the state; you don’t correct an error with another error. There is no way you impound people’s property or goods along the roads; you destroy them, burn them and use machetes, axes to intimidate traders. It is not fair!
“If traders are violating the laws, there are proper ways to handle them. You can confiscate their goods and they will pay fine. You can also ask them to leave and if they fail to leave, you seal off the place without damaging their goods.
“We are in a very difficult economic situation and destroying those goods meant aggravating the situation further. The law does not permit ACTDA to destroy goods and properties of traders. What the law says is if anyone is found trading on the roadside, there is a certain amount the individual will pay, when you confiscate their goods.
“So I condemn the action of destroying their goods. It is not good at all. They should device other means. The way government is handling it, is not fair at all.”
The Deputy Minority Leader who advised ACTDA to adhere strictly to the provisions of the law in carrying out enforcements, also suggested creation of alternative markets where such traders could be relocated rather than render them completely useless by destroying their means of livelihoods.
Igwe also suggested that the market leaderships could be used to ward off the menace of street traders, adding that inasmuch as he supported the Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo’s government hook, line and sinker, he would not hesitate to correct the state government where it was not getting it right, as a concerned Anambra citizen.
Reacting to the actions of ACTDA officials as being barbaric and irresponsible, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Hon. Osita David Onuko, said it was rather unfortunate for anyone to describe the actions of ACTDA operatives as barbaric and irresponsible.
Onuko, who also spoke exclusively with NewsProbe, maintained that ACTDA didn’t destroy people’s property; instead they only handled those who flouted the law after series of persistent notices and interface from government.
 He said they were not barbaric and that ACTDA is an agency of the law. Onuko further disclosed that street trading was not recognised in the law and they were not on vendetta mission but the fact  remains that Anambra is not a state of lawlessness.
He said inasmuch as they wouldn’t bandy words with anybody, they were firm and resolute to bequeath a befitting status to the capital city.

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