From Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
The people of Rumuwoji, the host community of the popular Mile 1 Market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have called for a transfer of the Mile 1 Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for allegedly aiding and abetting in the leadership crisis tussle rocking the Ultra-Modern market.
A faction of the Rumuwoji Market Traders Association led by its Chairman, Chief Young Georgewill accused the Mile 1 DPO, Tony Adeyi, of aiding the May 20th tensed demonstration at the market by the opposing faction, which displaced the Georgewill group.
Georgewill said the opposing faction led by Kenneth Eze “vandalised security locks, broke into the association’s office and maybe carted away about N1m in the drawers and properties belonging to the association and chased away the stationed security men which they replaced to the knowledge of the DPO.”
The group also indicted the Mayor (Chairman) of Port Harcourt City Council, Chimbiko Akarolo, of working against interests of the Rivers indigene traders in the market in favour of the majority Ibo traders in the manner the Mayor displaced and replace the Georgewill faction four days after the protest.
“Akarolo has never been happy with Governor Rotimi Amaechi since handling keys of the ultra-modern market to me to manage and now that the governor is distracted by his current challenges, the Mayor is taking advantage to move against us and give power to the majority Imo traders,” Georgewill alleged.
The group while imploring Governor Amaechi to wade into the matter noted that the Port Harcourt City Mayor’s displacement of the Georgewill faction defied an existing court ruling affirming its caretaker-ship of market.
Stressing the ethnic tone to the crisis, Georgewill further called on all “Rivers sons and daughter to come out for a peaceful demonstration against Ibos of Imo state before we are totally submerged by them in Rumuwoji Market.”