Sack of Market Leaders: Reinstate Ochiogu, Traders Urge Soludo

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has been urged to immediately reinstate the executives of Ogbaru Main Market led by Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu .

A cross-section of the traders who spoke to newsmen after the executives of the market was sacked by a statement released to both social media platforms and mainstream media faulted the sacking of duly elected executives of the market.

The new Commissioner for Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Ngonadi in the statement said the election conducted by the market and supervised by the Ministry on January 25, 2022 was flawed.
But some of the traders said the reason given by the government in sacking their executive was not cogent and convincing enough, saying it is even punitive and undemocratic.

They said that the new Government of Soludo cannot just dissolve an elected executive of the market on the flimsy excuse that the election was flawed.
Mr Chika Nwosu, a trader in the market who was obviously furious asked which election including the one that brought the governor has no one defect or the other.

“Even the United States of America (USA), where we borrowed presidential system still conduct flawed election. That is why the former President of US went to court to challenge the election of the current President, Joe Biden,” he said.

Nwosu said those who complained that the election was flawed should go to court to prove it.
“It is not for the government which suppose to be neutral and an impartial umpire to take side with the complainants and flush out the executive. The action was most unfair. It is undemocratic and cannot stand the test of time.”

“There was no basis for this action. The Market is not in crisis of any sort that warranted the nullification of the election which was conducted peacefully over three months ago by the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) appointed by the State Government and Ministry of Commerce officials”. How can government again start talking of Caretaker in Ogbaru Main Market? We had been experiencing tranquility since the administration of Mr. Ndubuisi Ochiogu and we cannot afford go back to Egypt again. That is bad leadership and impunity, crises and insecurity.”

In the same vein Chief Aaron Nwokorie, an opinion leader in the market said the least they expected the government to do, if there was complaints of flawed election was to set up a panel to hear form both sides, including the Ministry officials who supervised the election. But to just sack a duly elected market executives amount to nothing but gratuitous insult to the entire traders who elected the Chief Ochiogu and his executives.
“It is just like Federal Government using its might to sack Governor Soludo. That is exactly what is playing out here,” he said.

Chief Nwokorie said they don’t want to believe the speculation going on that the administration of Prof. Soludo was in a hurry to instal his own people in various markets in the state, noting that the state government should understand that markets are not parastatals of Anambra state government.

He said that belligerent action by the government instead of extending hand of fellowship to the trader may be counter productive.

Another prominent trader who does not want his name mentioned in the print said however that if there is anybody who staked his life for Soludo to become the governor, it is Chief Ochiogu who mounted Prof. Soludo’s bill board at the thick of the election inspite of threats on his life to remove the bill board.

“Mr. Ochiogu was the only market leader in the state who mounted campaign bill board of Prof. Soludo at the peak of election when Unknown Gun Men insisted that there was no election and threatened him to remove the bill board but he remained adamant in supporting Soludo. How then can he be paid back in this manner. It is not as if he is not doing well. The market is calm. He does not deserve this type of treatment. I must say we the traders are not happy.” said the opinion leader in the market.

Mrs. Caroline Okeke in her contribution appealed to Governor Soludo to reinstate Ochiogu led executive.

She said the umbrella market body of ASMATA which was instituted by the state government conducted the election of Ogbaru Main Market, contending that government cannot contradict itself by nullifying the same election without properly hearing from it’s representative and the other party.

“I think, there is a court of law where aggrieved person or persons who failed election should go? Why should government listen to sycophants who ran away when things were tough during the campaigns of Governor Soludo? We traders do not support this decision.” she said.

In the end, the traders pleaded with government to reverse the sacking of Ochiogu since it will ensure peace and tranquility in the market.

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