…express surprise that a defeated chairmanship candidate continued to portray the image of the market and executive in bad light
President General, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna, has been advised to bewary of antics of defeated market chairmen who are out to tarnish his image by causing crisis in the markets, thereby frustrating efforts of Governor Chukwuma Soludo to restore markets’ lost glory.
The traders, mostly from New Auto Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area, expressed surprise that a defeated chairmanship candidate, Chief Stephen Ofole, has since his defeat, continued to portray the image of the market and executive in bad light.
To buttress their claim they said that the defeated candidate rushed to a radio house and accused the leadership of the market of extorting #4,000 extra from traders, apart from official #7,400 each trader pays as government tax, when he knows that such #4,000 is never tenable but just to tarnish the image of the market leadership.
According to an elder in the market, who identified himself as Chief Okeke, “As if that is not enough, just few days ago he boasted to the traders that the ASMATA PG has authorised him to start to collect stallage fees, of which he has started collecting, thereby usurping the functions of the elected market executive, all in a bid to cause crises in our peaceful market.
“Most traders in the market have documented proof of shops he claimed that he collected the fees from, on behalf of the ASMATA PG not the market executive, whose responsibility it is to collect stallage fees and send to State Government.
“Again, the defeated candidate accused the State Government of issuing approval for the construction of shops on top of existing shops, dragged the executive to an Idemili High court and was defeated. Now he has gone to Appeal court to challenge his defeat.
“So the various government agencies should bewary of one who dragged the State Government and his market leadership to court as he wants to involve them in fighting the State government for his selfish interest,” he stated .
“When I started fearing Ofole was when he said that Senator Andy Uba came to the market to canvass for votes. This is a lie from the pit of hell intended to attract attention because Uba has never come into this market. It was Ike Cubana, the APGA candidate for Idemili Federal constituency, that came into the market to canvass for votes. This is the character of the man who wants to be our chairman. Who will vote for him”, he querried.
“The block chairmen who serve as revenue collectors in their various blocks, advised the PG to immediately discontinue what ever transaction/dealings he has with Ofole before it gets late as he boasts around the market that State Government through ASMATA PG, has directed him to collect government tax in the market.
“Who is he to collect stallage fees for State Government when the executive is there. How will he account for the money he collected and to whom ‘
“Presently this market leads in terms of payment of government tax in Idemili. Out of about 1200 shops, about 1110 shops have paid their taxes to government and the records are there for all to see”, he hinted.
Contacted at the ASMATA secretariat along Modebe Avenue, the PG declined comment on the issues raised, saying that the defeated chairman and the executive are in court.
Reacting, Chief Stephen Obiora Ofoleh and comrade Edwin Ibeabuchi, accused Elysius Ozorkwere-led executive of not creating peaceful market environment.
” Majority of our members have refused to comply with the punitive terms of Ozorkwere-led executive. I have been directed to collect taxes by PG,” Ofole boasts to traders.