Stop dividing the Igbo race: Group call on South-East governors

The South East Governors have been called upon to discard obnoxious policies that destroy the unity and solidarity of Igbo race in NIgeria.
The chairman of Non-Indigenous Free Minds Welfare Association, Anambra State, Chief Eusebius Ezebuwa, made the call in Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial nerve centre yesterday, when the group addressed newsmen over the disqualification of non-indigenes to participate in the contest for the chairmanship of General Old Motor Spare Parts Association known as Mgbuka-Amazu in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State on November 15, 2021.
But the non-indigenes in the market who said they constituted about 85 percent of the traders in the market refused that the election would hold, insisting that it negates the constitution of the market to disqualify any trader from vying for any position.

Chief Ezebuwa who was represented by Chief Sunday Onwughalu, said ” we call on the South East Governors and Igbo political elite who are involved in this obnoxious policies to desist from it”.

He lamented that this backward and uncivilized policy has not been there but was introduced by a former Governor and vigorously prosecuted by a former President-General of Anambra Market.

Onwughalu said Governor Willie Obiano instead of abolishing the anti Igbo unity policy, went ahead to implement it through his President-General of Amalgamated Traders of Anambra State Markets (AMATAS), Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu.

He said this narrative should change, asking the Anambra State Government to allow democracy to thrive in the market to ensure peace is prevailed.
He equally called on the Governor Willie Obiano and the Governor-elect , Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to do away with this clanish policy.

” This has not been there. It is a new thing. Even, non-indigenes have at times in the past been elected chairmen in the market.The traders jointly built the market. There must be equity and fairness in producing the leadership of markets in the State. How can you talk of non-indigenes in Igbo land. What will they be in the West and North”? he queried.

Onwughalu said Ndigbo are chairmen in Alaba International market and ASPANDA among other markets in Lagos, Abuja and the North.

The chairman of Non-indigenes pressure group known as “Five Alive”, Mr. Anthony Igwe, lamenting the oral disqualification of the two non-indigenes in the market from contesting the chairmanship of Mgbuka- Amazu said such provision was not in the constitution.

He said the duo of Ikechukwu Onuigbo and Comrade Emeka Egwuonwu, both from Enugu State had bought form and paid N20, 000 each being fee required by the Electoral Committee to contest the position of a chairman but an anonymous caller on the eve told one of them that they were not qualified to contest because they are not from Anambra State.

He said some of them thought lt it was not true but on the election day on November 15, 2021, those who represented Ekwegbalu and the Electoral Committee Chairman, Mr Romanus Omeje re-echoed it.
Then, said Igwe, they insisted that they would participate in the election, forcing the chairman to postpone the election indefinitely, while the Electoral Committee Chairman holds forte.

Igwe raised an alarm that following the development, there have been series of threat calls and face to face challenge on some who are championing justice, equity and fairness in the market, threatening to chase them out of the market.
He said “But I have told my members not to be provoked because if there is violence in the market it will jeopardize our economic pursuit. But they should remember that we are in majority and we constitue 85 percent of the traders in the market”.

Igwe appealed to both Governor Obiano and Prof. Soludo to do away with this retrogressive and anti Igbo unity policy and direct Ekwegbalu to hold the election without any discrimination.
Efforts to get the the President-General of AMATAS and the Commissioner for Commerce and Markets, Chief. Uchenna Okafor to comment on the matter failed as they were not picking their calls.

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