The police in Owerri were last Tuesday forced to use tear gas to disperse street traders on the strategic Doulgas-Mbaise Road junctions following resistance by the traders.
Our reporter who was at the scene said that a detachment of police had arrived at the spot about 9.30 am and asked the traders to pack their wares and vacate the area.
However, according to him, the traders dealing on dresses and from the Northern part of the country, resisted the order, engaging the police in open scuffles.
At this juncture, the police were constrained to shoot some rounds of tear gas cannister which spontaneously filled the air in the vicinity with peppery fumes, forcing people to run helter-skelter.
After the commotion and when the effect of the tear gas subsided, the rebellious traders were seen packing their wares hurriedly apparently aware that their next encounter with the law-enforcement personnel could be unpalatable indeed.
The relevant state agencies have for long and on several occasions issued ultimatums to the illegal traders on these streets without follow-ups and persuasion having failed, they seem resolved to apply the co-ercive measures.