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MARKET LEADERSHIP CRISIS: Onitsha Electronics Traders Call for Dissolution of Caretakers Committee



By Praise Chinecherem 

Traders under the Electronic Dealers Association, Onitsha (EDAO), Anambra State have rejected the caretakers committee established by the state government to manage the market.

AnambraDaily gathered that the former executives had constituted electoral committee to conduct election for the various positions in the market in line with its constitution before its suspension by government who constituted a caretaker committee.

The inauguration of the committee has thrown the market into confusion as members claimed it ran contrary to their constitution, Insisting they needed elected executives and not caretakers committee to run the market affairs.

Some stakeholders in the market who spoke to reporters described government’s action as throwing bomb into a peaceful environment.

Member, Board of Trustees, Chief Ben Anyawu said they were disappointed by the government appointment of caretakers committee. He said tenure of the sacked executive expired on July 13, 2022, adding that they were expecting election which members had opted for.

He said, “After concluding all arrangements for the conduct of election, candidates have paid their required money and screened the next we heard was that government does not want election to be conducted in any of Anambra market.

“They inaugurated care take committee on 29th of July in Awka without knowledge of members of the market. The caretaker committee was unveiled on 2nd of August 2022 without information and we thought they will present them to market on Wednesday being  prayer meeting day but they did not. 

“On Tuesday when the former president unveiled the interim executives, many people were lucked outside in the market around 8am. The matter is still in the court and I don’t know what the government tend to gain.”

Also speaking, immediate past deputy president of the market, Chukwubuike Kama said that court had given order that there should be status quo anti in the market pending the determination of suit at the high over same issues .

He expressed worries over government  failure to obey court order, only to impose caretaker committee on the market .

According to him, the immediate chairman of the market had constituted Electoral committee,and it called for those with interest to write application with specific money and they have done that.

“I’m one of those who indicated interest and I want to run for the chairmanship position. Fee for chairmanship position is N300,000, Secretary, financial Secretary and treasurer are N150,000 while other positions are N100,000. 

“The executive had written to government, civil society, police and others  to come and observe the election .This is to ensure that the election is free, fair and peaceful. While waiting for them, Anambra State Market Amagemated Traders Association (AMATA) wrote us that they want to put caretakers.

“This is a private market and government has no investment in it. Our constitution does not give room for caretakers committee. Presently, we are owing banks N300 million and we trying to see how we can pay it and somebody is imposing caretakers committee for us, it is not good,” he said. 

Kama appealed to Governor Charles Soludo to immediately intervene and save the market from aviodable crisis, noting that bringing caretakers committee to the market was enough to ignite serious crisis  because members do not want it. 

The immediate past provost general, Ifechi Emmanuel Anozie, who want to contest for public relations officer of the market said government cannot impose caretaker committee on the market because it did not contribute money to the building of the market.

“We built the market without any help from the government and the government has no right to tell us who will be our leaders .

Government has set this market on fire by this very act.

“Every body in the market want election and not caretakers committee, the imposition of caretakers committee on members will lead to serious implosion.

“I urge the governor to dissolve the caretaker committee immediately and fix date for the election in the market ” he said.

When contacted, new interim government Chairman of EDAO, Mr Ifeanyi Egwuenu said he was not in the mood to talk to the press.

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