From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Palpable tension that might lead to imminent crisis is brewing at Electronic Dealers Association Onitsha (EDAO) market, Anambra state following the traders’ rejection of the 11 man caretaker committee inaugurated by the Anambra State government to run the affairs of the market after the expiration of the tenure of the former executives.
Daily Sun gathered that the traders in the market had already kick-started the process for the election of their new leaders already fixed tentatively for 23rd July 2022 when suddenly, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce through the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) announced to the traders that a caretaker committee instead will be constituted citing an Executive Order by Governor Soludo suspending all elections in the market till further notice.
Chairman of Board of Trustees of EDAO, Chief Ben Anyanwu who spoke to reporters yesterday said the traders were in angry mood and they tactically boycotted the prayer session last Wednesday where the new caretaker committee members were presented to the traders even as he picked holes in the manner the committee members were set up which he noted elicited the disapproval of the traders.
“Tenure of the last executives expired on 13th July 2022. They inaugurated caretaker committee on 29th of July in Awka without the knowledge or consultation of members of the market. The caretaker committee was unveiled on 2nd of August 2022 without information and we thought they would present them to market on Wednesday being prayer meeting day, they did not. On Tuesday, when the former president unveiled the interim executives, many people were locked outside the market around 8am.” He said.
Former Vice President of the market union, Chukwubike Cletus Kamah expressed disappointment that all those aspiring for various elective positions in the market had paid the required nomination fees and completed all documentations needed for the election before the exercise was truncated midway. He disclosed that there is a court order obtained on 7th July 2022 that ordered all parties in the matter to maintain the status quo.
He also picked holes in the nomination list of the caretaker committee members and wondered how 10 names of the committee members were Anambra indigenes while the 11th person hailed from Imo state were chosen to oversee affairs in a market where they contributed their personal resources to build while non indigenes of Anambra state in the market are in the majority.
The inauguration of the committee has thrown the market into confusion because members claimed it runs contrary to their constitution.
They also said that what they need is elected executives and not caretakers committee to run the affairs of the market.
Other stakeholders and traders in the market who spoke to Daily Sun said the government’s action was like throwing bomb into a peaceful environment even as they appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to address the situation to avert crisis in the market.