Obiano asked to immediately conduct election in Ogbaru Market. Traders threaten to embark on protest

A body under the aegis of Ogbaru Main Market Concerned Traders (OMMCT), has asked Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to prevail on the Commissioner for Commerce and Market, Chief Uchenna Okafor, to immediately organise election in Ogbaru Main Market before another crisis sparks off in the market.
The group in a press conference lamented that the Governor had already given ASMATA the nod to conduct elections in all the markets but Chief Okafor refused to carry it out due to his personal interest.
Chief Ikechukwu Ojukwu, who spoke for the group said ASMATA, the umbrella body of the traders in the State was ready to conduct elections in all Anambra markets before the November 6, 2021 election but alleged that the commissioner would not allow them whenever his interest was involved.
Said the group ” recently the Governor in his magnanimity directed that election be held in all the markets before November 6 governorship election. Unfortunately, the commissioner is selective in the markets he directs that election should be conducted. He does this in spite of ASMATA, the body whose duty it is to conduct elections’ readiness to conduct election in our markets.
The traders alleged that because of the commissioner’s interest in Ogbaru Main Market, he has refused election to hold in the market unlike others.
But the traders accused a prominent member of the market, Chief Sam Mendu, a PDP chieftain of being behind Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu who he introduced to Chief Joseph Ukeji (Ejison) who in turn recommended Ochiogu for the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Market.
They said that both Mendu and Ejison are working with the commissioner to ensure that there is no election in the market until the next Governor takes over the reins of power.
They also alleged that Ochiogu was quoted as having said during one of the prayer sessions of the market which holds on Fridays that Ejison had prevailed on the governor so that there will be no election in the market until after November 6 governorship election.
The concerned traders said that Ejison has no single shop in the market, lamenting that he is tearing Relief Market apart by insisting that Ochiogu will continue to stay in the market on caretaker capacity.
They noted that for almost one and half years now the market was being run by caretaker, first by Chief Nwawuzie, now by Ochiogu.
Unfortunately, both of them have failed to perform because they did not have the mandate of the traders.

The concerned traders said, “if all the big men in Anambra State install their persons in the markets, there will be crises in all markets. Our interest is that election should hold immediately and if it fails to hold, then there will definitely be crisis in the market. We will embark on massive protest that will shake the entire state and beyond”.
” Our appeal to your Excellency is that you give the directive on the conduct of election in Relief Market immediately” said the Concerned Traders.
The traders said that a democratic election in the market is neccessary especially now the Governorship election is few months away from now, noting that it will make the traders to freely support APGA candidate.
Efforts to get the Commissioner for Commerce, Chiefs Mendu and Ukeji, to speak on the allegations failed but Chief Ochiogu who spoke to newsmen dismissed the threat and allegation as the handiwork of those who believe that his growing popularity due to his achievements in the last seven months would eclipse theirs.
He said that during their joint meeting of Board of Trustees (BoT), Sectional Heads, and the Executives who are the representatives of the people, it was decided that the election will hold between January and February next year.
He said the reason was because they don’t hold election in the market in “mber months” because of it being the season of extensive trading.
He accused those behind this move as elements who are jealous of his performance, having cleared the drainage, installed solar light, restored public power to the market after several years they were cut-off, revamping and reticulating of water in the market among others.

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