The Police and the Nigerian army have yielded to the directive of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on the opening of Ikoku spare parts market after about two months of shutdown.
There was intense criticism by residents and human rights activists on Wednesday morning when some officers of the State police command and those from the six division Nigerian army barricaded the Ikoku market with armored vehicles preventing traders from accessing their shops despite the governor’s easing order.
The Governor had during an earlier statewide broadcast on Tuesday eased the lockdown in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the State, warning shop owners of Ikoku market do not convert the roads to mechanic workshops otherwise may risk final closure of the market.
According to the governor’s statement, “Dealers in Ikoku Spare Parts markets are warned for the last time to stop converting public roads to mechanic workshops or risk final closure.
” Similarly, no mechanic workshop should be found along Ikwerre road as Government will prosecute defaulters and confiscate any vehicle being repaired on any public road”. It added.
However, the statement seemed not to be no clear for the security agencies as the continued blocked the gateways to the market, chasing away traders that came for business activities.
A group, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) condemned the continuous barricade of Ikoku Spare parts market despite the announcement by the Rivers State Governor to unlock the market.
A human rights activist and Executive Director of YEAC, FYNEFACE DUMNAMENE, expressed dismay that despite the governor’s directive, the Army and Police were still at Ikoku market violating human rights and preventing the people from carrying out their activities.
Dumnamene however, called on the Nigerian Army and Police to vacate Ikoku Spare Parts Market immediately for normal lawful business activities to resume following governor’s directive.
Few hours after the criticism and calls, the security agencies vacated the market and traders were seen jubilating as they were opening their shops after about two months shutdown.