The President of Ogbete Market Traders Association (OMATA) in Enugu State, Chief Stephen Aniagu has dismissed media reports that a woman was molested by thugs at the market as false.
The market leader who said this while addressing newsmen on the reported assault said that he had carried out an investigation into the matter and had discovered that such an incident did not happen at the market.
An online platform had on Monday reported that an unnamed woman was beaten up by market thugs for staying at the market beyond the stipulated time for everyone to close and vacate the market.
The publication had also alleged that several traders have been abused but were afraid to speak up for fear of further punishment by the market leadership.
However in his reaction, Chief Aniagu dismissed the report emphasising that there were no thugs operating within the market.
He further explained that the market leadership had set up a security taskforce implementation committee headed by Chief Raymond Egbo, an importer, to oversee the security of the market and to ensure that the market opens and closes at the appropriate time.
“When I read the report, I started making enquiries. No one has come out to say that she was beaten. I have made every inquiry, even the Women Aid Collective (WACOL) came to market and went round to investigate but they did not find anything. I believe that they will tell everyone that such a thing did not happen in Ogbete.
“I am urging the leaders of NUJ in Nigeria and in Enugu State to ensure that they get all sides of a story before they publish. That is what is called balanced reporting so that you don’t go about condemning the good things people are doing.”
Aniagu also spoke on several other efforts made by his administration to sanitize trade at the market, such as ensuring proper weight and labeling of rice and other items.