Women in onitsha market hav threatened to go naked over extended tenure of their executives Following the tenure elongation and the sudde
Women in onitsha market hav threatened to go naked over extended tenure of their executives
Following the tenure elongation and the sudden cancellation of a scheduled election for new executives, traders at the popular electronics international market, Onitsha, Anambra State have revolted.
Sun news reports that, the traders last Friday shut down their businesses in the market and trooped to the Godwin Achebe Mini Stadium, Fegge, Onitsha, for the scheduled market union election.
Suddenly, news filtered in that the Anambra State Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Wealth Creation, Dr. Christian Mmadubuko, had directed that the election should be suspended following pressure allegedly from some powerful persons in the state.
This was followed by a protest by the traders, who accused the expired market Leader, Mr. Emmanuel Ibeh, otherwise known as Lion Base, as the man behind the cancellation. They claimed that Ibeh was desperate to lead the market at all costs, after failing in three earlier chairmanship elections.
A crisis management move by the Izuchukwu Okoye-led outgoing executives of the market prevented a violent reaction from the traders over the cancellation, Naija News learnt.
The traders also alleged that Ibeh was acting the script in connivance with a Catholic priest who was a former chaplain to Governor Willie Obiano. They carried various placards with different inscriptions condemning Ibeh’s alleged action and marched along Zik’s Avenue, Fegge. The traders lamented the huge financial losses they incurred through the closure of the market over the election that eventually did not hold.
They said Ibeh was working to force a caretaker committee on the market, and vowed to resist any caretaker leadership. They demanded that the election should be given priority.
Ibeh however denied all the allegations against him by some of the traders. But right now, there are questions over whether the market leaders, whose tenure has elapsed, should continue to hold forth in managing the affairs of the market pending a proper election, or whether a neutral caretaker committee should be constituted to take charge of the affairs in the market.
Some of the stakeholders in the market, including Innocent Emenari, Albert Chukwubuike, Nicholas Okechukwu, Chukwubuike Kama and Damian Ogudike said most of the traders are opposed to the imposition of a caretaker leadership in the market. They called on the Catholic bishops of Awka and Onitsha to intervene in the matter.
The pressure against the institution of a caretaker committee has also led to the formation of a pressure group known as United People’s Front (UPF) in the market.
The group, has made it clear that they would never yield to the imposition of a caretaker committee in the market.
Chairman of UPF, Chijioke C. Nwobodo, an engineer, who spoke to news men vowed that the members of the UPF in the market, numbering over 600, and in concert with democratic forces, would resist the imposition of caretakers on the market.
This is also coming after another petition from the women’s wing of the market to Governor Obiano, denouncing any attempt to impose caretakers on the market.
In the petition, signed by Julie Ifeachor and Tina Ezisi, the women swore to fight those plotting to impose such an unelected leadership on the market at all cost. They threatened to go naked on the streets of Onitsha in protest.
Nwobodo, noted that there had been a series of transitions in the market without problems of this kind, and called on those behind the latest move to stop the trend.