Anambra traders decry defeated rival’s protest causing crisis

June 25, 2021
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By Favour Goodness

The New Auto Spare parts market, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra state traders have described protest by the defeated chairmanship candidate, Chief Obiorah Ofole and his supporters as “unrealistic”.

Chief Elysius Ozorkwere, new elected chairman in Awka on Thursday said such action was aploy to cause crisis in the peaceful market.

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He said his opponent had failed in his bid to hijack the market without due process during the election, but vowed to frustrate any positive developmental projects since the traders refused to vote for him.

He said that Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Hon. Uchenna Okafor witnessed the peaceful election that produced his leadership.

Recalled that during the election on Feb. 6, 2020, Ofole got zero vote to show his unacceptability by the traders while the new chairman recorded 100 per cent in the option A4 voting system.

Ofole, had during the protest which he led, said the Ozorkwere-led executive did not consult the traders prior to taking such decision, particularly building of new shops unilaterally.

Ofole feared that such structures could collapse and threatened to drag the executive to court if it continued with the project.

Ozorkwere said that the aim to build extra shops upstairs was borne out of the need and pressure where the newly settled apprentices will be accomodated.

According to him, the present block of shops in the market were built in mid 80s and opened for business in 1989 without further plan for expansion.

“Almost all the lands around the market have been built with structures by private individual owners.

After 30 years of trading, the market became full to the brim, hence the need to erect shops on top of the exising ones that have the foundation of storey building in order to accommodate the young ones coming up,” Ozorkwere said.

Denying the claim of Ofole that the executive did not get the endorsement of the traders prior to embarking on the project, he maintained that most of the traders thanked them and endorsed the construction.

“The executive approached all the appropriate government authorities responsible for building and we secured approval from the Anambra physical planning Board and also from the Ministry of Trade and Commerce.”

“The executive convened the general meeting of the association where the good news was welcomed with open arms by the traders who in their various speeches blessed the executive for being a round peg in a round hole in service.

“The traders gave us their mandate during the Feb. 6, 2020 general election with my overwhelming victory,” Ozorkwere said.

On the sale of application forms, he said that it had been in progress with the traders rushing to get their forms hinting that over about 80 per cent of them have purchased forms to show their appreciation”.

Reacting also, a trader who pleaded anonymity regretted that “some enemies of progress in the market, have sworn never to allow peace, even as they vowed to truncate positive developmental projects.

“Some are just fighting because they are being apprehensive that doing such a mind blowing project will sky rocket the already existing popularity and goodwill of the current executive.

“Some complained that the executive embarks on scores of projects, even if they are positive projects but that they may not be left with projects to work upon if elected in 2024,” he said.

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