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HomeNewsAnambra Government Accuses Newspaper Vendors Of Blackmail

Anambra Government Accuses Newspaper Vendors Of Blackmail

After state officials recently attempted to impose a ban on street trading, the Anambra State government has accused newspaper vendors operating in Awka of blackmail.

Earlier on Thursday and Friday, representatives of the Awka Capital Territory Development Agency, or ACTDA, burnt newspapers that had been seized and put on display by merchants.

The sellers maintained that the officials were specifically targeting newspapers that were critical of Governor Charles Soludo, despite the officials’ claims that there was a standing order to cease all forms of street trading.

In a news release issued by Christian Aburime, the governor’s press secretary, the Anambra State government claimed that the charges were an attempt to extort the government.

Aburime, in a press statement made available to journalists in Awka, said: “It has been observed with concern the resort to needless uproar and untrue allegations by the news vendors within Awka capital territory regarding the enforcement of regulations related to street vending.

“The truth is, while the state government understands the vital role the media plays in a healthy democracy and appreciates the contributions of news vendors, it cannot allow any act of violation of public order on the pretext of street vending.

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“The Awka Capital Territory, like any other capital city, has its master plan for proper development, and it is the government’s primary responsibility to ensure public safety and order for all residents and visitors within the city.

“Unfortunately, unregulated street vending, particularly on major roads, has become a public nuisance, whereby vendors occupying roadways not only deface the environment but also impede the free flow of traffic, causing delays and frustration for commuters.”

He claimed that in an attempt to solve the issue, ACTDA has limited news merchants’ operations to specific locations.

He claimed that the state government would not stand for the newspaper vendors, who also run POS centers, selling food by the side of the road in violation of the law prohibiting street dealing.

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