Posted by By Anayo Okoli on
AT least eight people were feared dead at the Ogbaru main market Onitsha following a violent clash between two warring traders union. Several others were said to have sustained injuries.
Onitsha—AT least eight people were feared dead at the Ogbaru main market Onitsha following a violent clash between two warring traders union.
Several others were said to have sustained injuries. But the Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Felix Ogbaudu told Vanguard in a telephone interview that he has not received any report of any person killed in the market union crisis. He however did not deny knowledge of the crisis in the market leadership.
Already, a special squad from Police Zone 9, Headquarters, Umuahia had visited the market and arrested about 16 persons in connection with the crisis.
Among those identified dead by sources close to the market were Tony Ezenwa (aka Tony Brazil), a member of the market task force loyal to one of the factions and and Madam Chika, described as a very active union leader in the market.
The crisis is allegedly between one camp led by Evan Ihesi and another camp led by Joe Nwokoye. There has never been stability in the leadership of the market. There has always been coup and counter coup by one camp against the other.
While Ihesi group claimed that they are still in control of the market, the Nwokoye group claimed that Ihesi term has since expired and alleged that government was using them to collect various illegal levies from the traders. Consequently, the Nwokoye group succeeded in occupying the trader’s union office complex named “White House” till last week when the other group allegedly invaded the market and tried to force them out, which resulted in open confrontation.
Not successful, the group was said to have gone back to Awka and regrouped allegedly using the state vigilance outfit and unleashed a serious attack on the market which left no less than eight people dead and many injured.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State branch of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the spate of killings arising from market union leadership crisis in the state.
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