‘Traders alleged that the Commissioner is selling market leadership posts to highest bidders’
The former chairman of Ogbaru Relief, (Main) market, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State, Chief Victor Nwawuzie Akirika, warned weekend that no amount of blackmail to attract sympathy would deter Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, through his Commmerce and Industry Commissioner, Hon. Obinna Ngonadi, from sanitising the markets.
Akirika was reacting to a petition allegedly sent to Governor Soludo, against his Commissioner, by Elite of Anambra State Traders, that the Commissioner is selling market leadership posts to highest bidders, even as he described the petitioners as non indigene market touts that forment trouble in the markets.
He said that their motive for the petition, accusing the Commissioner was for Soludo to sack the Commissioner for doing good job by obstructing them from their continued means of illegal revenue generation that included, improper shops enumeration, diversion of fund, illegal shop construction, overstay in office, leadership imposition, among others.
He said, “There are also those defeated chairmanship candidates, like at Nkpor New Auto Spareparts market, and others, who even if they contest election 10 times, they will not win because majority of the traders don’t want them for being selfish and will be much interested in how to extort the traders if given the opportunity.
“Again, the petitioners are fictitious names, there is nothing like Elite of Anambra State Traders, in any market in Anambra State, and those who sponsor the petition are out for character assassination against one of the best Market Commissioners, Hon. Ngonadi, since the inception of the State.
“This is a Commissioner with listening ears and always advises on the way forward and gives one time to rectify what ever mistakes/ illegalities committed before taking action, as his motive is focused on rightful means of sanity, peace, and cleanliness, while struggling to increase the revenue base of the State government.”
Akrika urged the Governor not to be deterred by the antics of such enemies of progress both in the market sector and other sectors of the economy, stating that it is their nature to thrive in crises.
He however blamed President of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, for not doing enough in piloting the affairs of the traders in the State, stating that arm-chair system of leadership is no longer practiceable anywhere in the world.
“Ekwegbalu should be up and doing, and that is why the government keeps him there, to oversee to the peaceful, progress and development of the entire markets in the State and not to continue to sit there and mop even when things are getting out of hand. His Presidency there is as good as not having a representative or head,” he fumed.