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Enugu cattle dealers resist relocation order, battle police

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By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu 

There was fracas at the New Artisan Market area of Enugu on Thursday as cattle dealers, resisted a move by the state government to execute a court order.It was gathered that a high court had ordered that the place be demolished but that the traders refused to move, several years after the judgement and court order.

Government officials were said to have moved into the place with a team of policemen to enforce the order but they were resisted, with some of the traders allegedly chasing the officials and security men away in the process. The traders reportedly seized the government bulldozer and chased away the policemen that accompanied the government demolition team.

The traders blocked the NNPC end of the Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway, impeding vehicular traffic, just as they made bonfires along the federal highway.It was initially reported that the exercise was led by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA.However, Dr Joseph Onoh, ECTDA executive chairman, in a statement, dissociated the agency from it all.According to Onoh, in the statement he personally signed, “The Attention of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) has been drawn to the authority’s name being peddled in connection with the Thursday, April 22 2021 incident at the closed New Artisan market.

“Recall that the state government had, in some years past, shut down the new Artisan Market.ECTDA has been inundated with calls on inquiries, regarding a demolition said to have been carried out at the previous market.”The agency, however, wishes to state that it is not aware of any enforcement at the New Artisan market, nor has it received any petition to that effect.”Let it also be known that the ECTDA was not part of whatever activity that took place at New Artisan and does not have any business with whatsoever activity there.”

The general public should please be informed.”As of the time of filing this report, a reinforcement of police and military had taken over the area.

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