• Threaten to embarrass him publicly.
  • Say: He must pay to the last kobo.

A group of building materials dealers in the Timber, Raw Materials and Allied Products Market (Ogbo Oshishi) in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State has accused the Special Adviser to Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, on New Cities and Markets Development, Ichie Uche-Best Mbanaso, of owing them huge sums of money for the building materials they supplied to him, on behalf of the state government.


The group, after a brief meeting they held over the weekend, has resolved to use all available legal means to recover every kobo of the money owed them.

Some members of the group, while interacting with newsmen in front of the new Orlu township stadium, along Orlu – Owerri road, on condition of anonymity, said, the debts run into millions of naira, excluding interests that must be paid on them.

They posited that Mbanaso had severally promised to pay them but always reneged on such promises. The embittered traders said Mbanaso has succeeded in grounding their businesses as all their shops are presently empty as a result of the debts owed them.

It was gathered that some members of the group, took loans from banks, and local thrift meetings to set up their businesses, and are worried about the accumulated interests which await them, and pressure mounted on them by their creditors who threaten to drag them to court.

Worried by Mbanaso’s natural inclination of not paying debts, the affected traders have decided to go and disrupt work in all the markets where they supplied materials are being used to work. They further told news men that they would act fast before the elections draw near, otherwise the debt owed them would become what they described as “Voice – mail” or bad debt once the elections are concluded and a new government emerges.

The traders say their ugly experience with Mbanaso, has taught them a big lesson as they have now decided to adopt the policy of “cash-and-carry”, especially when it concerns government supplies.

Meanwhile traders in Orie Okporo market have cried out to the Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to compel the contractor handling the market project to speed up action as they now carry out their businesses under excruciating conditions, even as they envisaged foul play in the allocation process as information making the rounds has it that some stores have already been reserved for friends, associates, relations and agents of the state government in different guises.