…ask Soludo to reconstitute ASMATA with credible and reasonable people
Stakeholders of Anambra State Traders (SAST) has asked Governor Chukwuma Soludo to immediately dissolve the Caretaker Committee leadership of Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) led by Chief Humphrey Anuna popularly called Onwa Oraeri.
The Stakeholders also called on the Governor to put in credible traders who would effectively and efficiently organise the markets in the State.
The group which addressed newsmen in Onitsha yesterday, through their chairman, Chief Kinsly Anosike and Secretary, Mr. Ikechukwu Nwosu, said that Anuna has been taking undue advantage of the Chief of Staff (CoS), Mr. Ernest Ezeajugh, who does not know anything about market politics to destabilise markets in the State.
Consequently, the CoS who the Governor relies on to have first hand information on Anambra markets has not been briefing the Governor properly on the issues about Anambra State markets.
They said Anuna who supposed to transparently advise the CoS has been deceiving him, hence the CoS has not equally been genuinely advising the Governor because he does not have all the facts and does not know anything about market politics of the State.
Hence both Anuna and CoS, said the group, have been misleading the Governor on market issues.
The Stakeholders said it was through this that Anuna appointed one Charles Okoye, who has no single shop in Electronics Market as the Sole Administrator of the Market.
They said that Chief Anuna is known for such mischief, stating that as a member of Ekwegbalu ASMATA leadership he allegedly collected money from Drug Market and Ajasa in Ose Okwodu for them to be autonomous from their mother markets which has thrown the market into turmoil.
As the ASMATA Caretaker Committee Chairman, they said, Anuna was instrumental for the return of Ndubuusi Ochiogu, whose election was alleged to have been rigged as the President of Ogbaru Main Market.
The Stakeholders said that the traders of Electronics Market have stoutly and roundly rejected Okoye as their Sole Administrator.
They said apart from the fact that Okoye does not have any business in the market, he is also not a member of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The Stakeholders said the appointment of Okoye who is a Labour Party card carrying member as the Sole Administrator of Electronics Market undermines the government of Prof. Soludo.
Asking the Governor to reconstitute ASMATA with credible and reasonable people, they said about 90 percent of the members of ASMATA as presently constituted are not qualified to be members.
They therefore asked the Governor to direct for immediate preparation for the modalities for the conduct of market election in the State as from March this year, stating that the conduct of election has become imperative and urgent because Anuna has no programme for traders due to his alleged incompetence
They said the closure of markets last Saturday, February 18, 2023, to campaign for APGA candidates was a clear vindication of their position that Anuna was not competent to lead Anambra market, asking how can Chief Anuna and his co-travellers shut down all the markets in the State just to campaign for APGA candidates in the coming election?
Unfortunately, the candidates boycotted the rally that led to the closure of markets, where several billions of naira was lost.
Although, Chief Anuna denied ordering the closure of the market the fact remained that he was the one that told market leaders that he got order from the Governor to shut down all the markets in the State
The groups asked Governor Soludo to ignore the claims that Anuna was behind the payment of stallage fees by traders, saying that traders have come to realise the need to pay the levies.
Efforts to get Ezeajugh and Anuna to speak failed as they did not pick their calls or respond to the WhatsApp inquiries.