Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Traders at the Asaba Ogbeogono market whose 118 bags were sized by security agents recently, on Monday protested in tears amidst serious hold-ups along Nnebisi road in Asaba, saying that they are currently facing serious hunger.
It would be recalled that security agents in military uniforms recently stormed Ogbeogono market where they confiscated over 118 bags of rice that were loaded into Hilux Van and zoomed off to an unknown destination.
But the stranded and angry traders who admitted they were involved in the trade of foreign rice they purchased by the ban by federal government, adding that the security agents have by that action inflicted hunger and pains in them
Some of the traders , one of them who spoke to Journalists in Asaba,ThankGod Benjamin said that some security agents in Customs uniforms and military uniforms stormed the market last week and sized 118 bags of rice worth over N10million adding that many of them borrowed money to buy foreign rice from importers from two micro finance banks
Benjamin noted that the most painful part of his ordeals was that he collected the loans with his house documents as collateral and at present the goods have been sized, adding that the officials of the micro finance banks are now at his throat demanding for their money and the interest in it
The traders therefore called on federal and state governments to stop confiscating foreign rice without making provision for local rice as the border closure had increased local rice from N14,000 to N23,000 respectively, adding that the policy could lead the country to massive hunger as the local rice production was not enough to care for others across the country.
While alleging that the Customs officers and the military men demanded for gratification during the raid, the traders however appealed to the state government to come to their aid and salvage their situation adding that their present situation had remained difficult even as to feed their families and their Children.
During their protest, the traders displayed placards” we are hungry after removing the bags of rice we are selling and we have no money to start afresh and do business again and the money will borrowed to be doing business we have not paid at all and the banks are on our neck for us to pay back”.
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