Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
As Onitsha Bridgehead Market Association elects its new leadership, Anambra state Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Markets and Wealth Creation, Dr Christian Madubuko, warned them against diversion of government revenue for private use.
He warned that government will not hesitate to sack and prosecute any market leader caught indulging in revenue racketeering, noting that government needs revenue to provide people-oriented projects in the state.
Madubuko, who gave warning after swearing in the newly-elected Bridgehead Market leaders led by Chief Sunday Obinze, who was returned for second tenure, expressed shock with how market elections turned out to be more serious than political elections.
The Commissioner said nobody should challenge the government, which has power to deal with anybody that contravenes the law, rules and regulations in the state.
“For the elected leaders, you should recognise the rights of every trader. You should not divert government revenue but should give government what is due for it,” he said.
According to him, “the way the traders carry money about is alarming. It is as if it were for governorship or senatorial election”. The Bridgehead Market election was supposed to be conducted on the 14th of May 2019 but it was postponed till today.”
“Within these two weeks that the election was postponed, I saw money, they carried it about to lobby me,” he revealed. “I am not the type you can lure with money. Those two weeks were full of temptations, I saw a lot of things.
“The way they carry money about was alarming. I don’t tolerate nonsense, leadership is service to the people, not to give order.”
He reminded the elected leaders that their leadership should be all inclusive and urged the defeated to accept defeat in the spirit of sportsmanship or seek redress in the court if the out of the election was not favorable to them.
Newly election chairman of the market Chief Obinze pledged to abide by the oath of office he swore to and to carry everybody along in order to move the market forward.
He promised to ensure that traders pay their stallage fees and other revenue to the government coffers, assuring that he would block all the revenue leakages.
Those elected included Chief Sunday Obinze (Chairman), Mr Sunday Aniagboso (Vice Chairman 1), Mr Sylvester Muolokwu (Vice Chairman Vice Chairman 2), Mr Daniel Egbeigwe (Secretary), Mr Michael Umezuruike (Assistant Secretary), Mr Emmanuel Obunso (Financial Secretary) and Mr Sunday Okoye (Treasurer).
Others include: Mr Sunday Ogbo (PRO), Mrs Nkoli Onyeanwusi (Provost 1), Mr Sunday Onwuasoanya (Provost 2) and Mrs Ngozi Okolo (Welfare officer).