From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Traders at Ngwa Road Market (Ahia-Ohuru) in Aba South Local Government Area, Abia State have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) message to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu over what they described as forceful collection of N6,700 by a group that claimed they got authorization from the state government to collect such levy.
The leader of the traders, Obi Kenneth said for some months now, the group in conjunction with personnel of Abia State Vigilante Service a.k.a Bakassi Boys have been forcing traders in the market to pay the unapproved levy.
The traders said that all their efforts to bring the market leadership to intervene in the matter have proved abortive, hence their appeal to the governor for intervention.
The traders lamented that despite the order of an Abia State High Court that only Government approved N18,000 levy should be collected in the market, the group with no known name went ahead to introduce another N6,700 levy and forced the traders to pay same.
According to Obi, “Abia government sometime in 2019 announced that every payment to be made in form of revenue collection in all the markets have been brought under one unique amount of N18,000 termed consolidated revenue.
“But this new levy of N6,700 the traders are forcefully meant to pay by a group that claimed they got authorization from the state government is something the Governor should intervene and stop because such a group is giving a negative image to the state government.
“Just last week, they came to Line-18, picked up innocent traders with the help of the Bakassi Boys and dumped them at Central Police Station, Aba.
“After investigations, the police discover that they did nothing and left them. For three weeks now, nobody has had peace”.
Obi said the group alleged they bought the contract from Abia State Government and boasted that no court can stop them. “We know the Governor wouldn’t have approved such levy and that’s why we appeal to him to intervene and save us from the hands of these yours masquerading as revenue collectors.”
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