Newspaper vendors in Owerri have decried alleged abuse, extortion, intimidation and highhandedness by men of Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTACO).
The group lamented that despite the huge amount of money allegedly being extorted from them by the operatives of ENTRACO through sheer intimidation and bullying, they are being forced out from Government House Roundabout by Old Okigwe Road Owerri where they station.
Speaking anonymously to journalists in Owerri on Monday, the newspaper vendors commented that ENTRACO, previously, had never intimidated and extorted them as being experienced in today despite the huge amount of money they pay to ENTRACO men and management.
“Newspaper vendors in Owerri are not happy the way ENTRACO men extort us and bully us. They force us to pay them monthly just to allow us be. Surprisingly, they came here this morning, forcing us out, breaking our tables and chairs, scattering our wares. They should allow us be. Previous governments had allowed us to stay here despite all odds. We should be allowed some space and freedom as bonafide citizens of Imo State”, they cried.
The newspaper vendors while urging the state government to call the operatives and management of ENTRACO to order to allow them stay at the Government House Roundabout by Old Okigwe Road to continue their lawful business, reechoed that they do not constitute any danger or nuisance to the public.
“We are law abiding citizens of Imo State. We do legal business to earn good living. But our greatest challenge is Imo ENTRACO who bully us, intimidate us and extort us. They abandoned their legitimately assigned duty of decongesting and keeping the environment neat to manhandle and extort law abiding people who are left with no option than to dance to their downgrading, illicit demands. This anomaly should be corrected henceforth to avoid further highhandedness. Enough is enough”.
However, efforts made to hear from ENTRACO General Manager was unsuccessful as he was not in the office when our reporter called