Traders at Rumuokoro market have alleged that the Task-force on street trading, illegal motor park and Mechanic Workshops in the area have left their primary responsibilities to extorting monies from traders and shop owners in the area.
Business operators within the Rumuokoro axis of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers on Friday Staged a peaceful protest against the activities of officials of state Task-force on street trading, illegal motor park and Mechanic Workshops.
The Rumuokoro business operators who are mainly shops owners alleged that the taskforce has allegedly abandoned their primary assignment of chasing roadside traders and other illegal operators to extort money those who own shops to daily seizures of their goods and wares by compelling them to come to their offices to collect the goods after paying fines.
They told our correspondent that members of the task force have turned them to daily contributions by impounding their goods sampled in front of their shops and as well collects money to release the said goods
The aggrieved Rumuokoro business operators called on government and Chairman of taskforce to intervene to restore sanity in the system and save their family from hardship. They say the pay huge sums of money as rent yet unable to sell their goods due to constant harassment from the taskforce as well as low patronage due to the economic realities of the present day Nigeria.
One of the officials of the taskforce who refused to be identified when approached by our correspondent however debunked the Traders claims. He told our correspondent that the business people have refused to obey the rules. And that they did not impound any goods. He said come and see our ware house if you will see any goods. When our correspondent asked to be taken to the warehouse he declined the offer.