By Thelma Ojetobor
The international Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has initiated steps to investigate issues surrounding the forceful takeover of the Abraka main market in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Information made available to Oasis Magazine, said the Ovie of Oruarivie Abraka, HRM Majoroh Ojeta II has been invited by IHRC to hear his side on the matter.
According to information gathered, a letter of invitation was delivered to the palace for the monarch on Monday.
The said letter, titled ‘Notification/Invitation to a Special Investigation of Deprivation of Rights of Indigenes of Abraka People over Forceful Takeover of the Peoples Market Land’, said that they received complains through the Zonal Coordinator, Niger Delta region.
The letter reads in part: “Our organization under the new strategy of compliance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights without violation has designed a new strategy of different categories of punishment for violators including Visa Ban for offenders. We cannot go into arbitral conclusion without hearing from parties and hence our decision to write you this letter.
“Accordingly, the fact-finding Committee headed by the Country head and Commissioner for West African Countries Ambassador Dr, Friday Sani slated the 20th January,2022 for the meeting.
“But because of our diplomatic nature and respect for traditional institutions, we are prepared to come to Abraka to take the evidence for or against from you in your palace within the above period.
“There is no doubt from the face of the position before us that, the council Chairman of Ethiopia East Local Government Council is also involved in the episode.
“We are optimistic of His Majesty’s cooperation to bring about peace than escalation of crisis in the Kingdom.”
At the time of filing this report, IHRC said the organization also sent a similar invitation letter to the Council Chairman, Hon (Pharm) Victor Oforbrukueta.
Recall that in December, traders in Abraka market protested over moves by the Council Chairman to demolish the market after they paid huge sums as store rent.
They added that the market was to be contracted to investors to build to standard and sell to interested traders at amounts running into millions.
Speaking to Oasis Magazine via telephone on the issue, Ofobrukueta said that the market women misunderstood his intentions.
His words: “We have the intention of rebuilding a modern market in Abraka, that is our intention but before we do that we decided to engage critical stakeholders, the communities, the market women and the king.
“So in a bid to do that, we were still discussing at the palace when the women did not even want to hear what we want to do; they started with resistance.”
He expressed surprise on the reactions of the market women, and said that moves to set up a committee on the matter to also have their representatives as members also did not go down well with the traders.
The council boss debunked reports that the market would be relocated, saying that the market will remain in place.
Asked on claims of the women that the council authority will eventually sell the stores to traders for as high as Three Million Naira after they just recently paid Three Hundred Thousand Naira for rents, he said they were yet to conclude on amount to be paid, and promised to schedule a date to meet with this reporter to unveil his plan for the market and dwell on all related issues.
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