From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Chairman of Ochanja Central Market, Onitsha, Anambra State, Chief Bonaventure Muo, has renewed his promise for better welfare for the traders, despite what he described as distractions from the opposition.
Fielding questions from newsmen while inspecting construction work at second gate road in the market, the Chairman, who was flanked by his Secretary and personal aide, Mr Maduka Obinna and Mr Chukwudi Okafor, respectively said he would not be deterred by the antics of the opposition and god-fathers who he said had for years held the market in bondage.
He said that market politics could not stop him from assuring the welfare of the traders.
He explained that his problem with his detractors started when he was appointed the market Chairman by the Anambra State Government through the former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon Obinna Ngonadi, ow the Commissioner for Industry.
He said the attack started because he vowed to work in accordance with the government market rules and regulations.
“Under the guideline, there will be only one Chairman and Secretary in a line in the market and when government directed for number of lines and shops, it was then that I discovered that in a particular line there were three Chairmen and three Secretaries and I objected that it should be just one Chairman and one Secretary in a line.
“Again, there are 720 shops in the market but they lied that they are 245 shops. So in a bid to come out clean, by telling the government the truth, they started attacking me. Writing frivolous petitions on a daily basis became part of their antics. They alleged that I have 200 shops in the market that are not accounted for, that I never paid levies like stallage fees and all of that.
“The one that claims ownership of the market, (god-father), gave me two weeks ultimatum to vacate the office in my own interest warning that it is left for him to install any Chairman in the market.
“In the market, I belong to the group called ‘Movement for Good Governance’, and we are only interested in the progress of the market and that is why I don’t bother about their frivolous and laughable petitions and threats so long as I’m doing the wishes and aspirations of the majority of the traders,” he said.
On the construction of the road with drainage systems on both sides, at the second gate, he said that traders were happy and surprised as such a good gigantic project had not been done in the market before, especially when traders were not tasked financially for about N4.55million the project might gulp.
On his part, Mr Obinna disclosed that it was the little money they generated from the market coupled with the Chairman’s financial assistance that they were doing the road project.
“Traders have continued to praise us and even ask us to continue in our good work, saying they have never seen this kind of effort before. No leadership has done what we have done in four months of our stay in office, ” he said.
Also reacting, Mr Okafor said the Chairman donated 50 bags of cement, others donated 30, 20, 10, and some donated cash, depending on their capability because, according to him, they were happy with what the Chairman was doing.
He said the traders unanimously agreed that they had never seen such before which spurred them into the decision to assist,” he said.