…the ASMATA PG said the date change was informed by pressure from Concerned Anambra Traders’ Association and stakeholders
President General, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna has reportedly changed the reopening date of markets in the State.
The reopening date earlier fixed for February 10, 2023, is now to open January 4, 2023.
Fielding questions from newsmen Friday, at the ASMATA secretariat along Modebe road, Onitsha, Anuna said the date change was informed by pressure from some traders under the agies of Concerned Anambra Traders’ Association and stakeholders who insisted that their interests were paramount.
He said, “We earlier fixed the reopening for 10th of January 2023 but due to concern and worries by some traders we have to bring it down to 4th January 2023. We have to listen to the interest of majority of the traders in whatever we are doing.
“Also let me make it clear that I received information that Onitsha Main market was opened when every other market has closed for the Christmas and New year celebration and I had to rush there.
“On getting there the market was not in session but only those street traders along Bida/Iweka road, we allowed them because they are not main market traders and we never asked them to shut their shops as speculated.
“By next year we will ensure Ocha Brigade focuses on its duties because they sometimes usurp the functions of ASMATA, committing some crimes and people believe it is ASMATA that commits such crimes when we are not.
Recall that Concerned Anambra Traders Association headed by Chief Gabriel Okeke, earler accused the ASMATA PG of fixing 4th January 2023 as odd time for the reopening of the markets and that the PG wanted to force the Bida/Sokoto street traders to shut their shops this time that they sell their old clothes (okirika), as it is the only time for such wares to be sold.
“It is because of the pressure we put in him that made him to bring down the date of the reopening of the markets from 10th to 4th. Why should he put the date 10th, that shows he is not a real trader, a real trader knows that the 10th date is not acceptable, this period street traders suffer to keep body and soul together and try to make money for their children school fees,” he stated further.
“Again we want to reiterate that Drug(Ogbogwu) market, is under the Onitsha Bridgehead market. The immediate past ASMATA PG, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu and the incumbent ASMATA PG, in their own interest collaborated to maintain that the Drug market is independent which is false, so long it is in the Bridgehead market, it is among the 27 mini market units of the Bridgehead market.
“That is why we demand for a capable person as ASMATA PG, a genuine trader not the likes of Anuna who is confused in piloting the affairs of the traders,” they posited.
The association also condemned in strong terms, the meeting called by ASMATA PG last Friday, saying that if the ASMATA PG were a genuine trader he should have known that it was an odd period to have such a meeting when everybody focused on Christmas and New year activities.