From Isaac Ojo Nnewi
Eight former Chairmen of Onitsha Main Market have appealed to Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano to without further delay, visit the market or call a meeting of the present executive of the market, the former Chairmen of the market, line Chairmen and secretaries of the three zones in the market, to avert imminent crisis that may erupt in the market.
Some of the ex-chairmen of the market and others leading the agitation are Mr. Nnamdi Unobuagha, Chief Sam Uzor, and Chief Obi Egbuna, Chief Nso Okafor, Chief Emenike Orji, Chief Innocent Nwanze, Chief John Nzeako and other stakeholders in the market.
They said some of the traders grievances against the present leadership of the market are non consultation with traders in the choice of project built with the N10 million “Chose your project” money the governor gave to the market like other major markets in the state.
A spokesman for the aggrieved stakeholders, Mr. Unobuagha, alleged that “the line chairmen and secretaries were not consulted by the Chairman of the market Mr. Dozie Okeke before building shops in the market last December when the market had closed for the year, with N10 million given to the market by Governor Obiano.
They alleged that the incumbent executive embarked on building shops in motor park and the exit space meant to serve the traders in case of any emergency in the market
Other grievances of the traders include, multiple taxation, intimidation and harassment of dissenting voices, illegal levies on customers from in and out of the state, refusal to summon a meeting of Line Chairmen and Secretaries of the market, stoppage of weekly Monday prayers after building on the space where it is conducted.
The incumbent chairman, Okeke however dismissed all the allegations insisting that the shops he built in the market motor park 2, have the approval of the governor who discussed and approved it during executive meeting with his cabinet.
He alleged that the former leaders of the market who are complaining about his administration wanted some gratifications from him, noting that they were disappointed because he did not play ball which according to him made them to resort to fighting him and accusing him of things that never happened.