Ogbete traders ask Ugwuanyi to allow their election to hold Uba Ani, Enugu

The elders of Ogbete Main Market Traders Association (OMMTA) on Tuesday cried foul over the continuous delay of election in Ogbete main market Enugu on the orders of  Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi since 2017.

Consequently, they called on governor to graciously allow peace to reign in the market by allowing the traders to conduct their election in accordance with the constitutional provision of the market.

Addressing journalists in Enugu recently, the leader of the elders, Chief Evangelizer Samuel Chukwu, said “it is silly and unbecoming of a governor to interfere in an election of a corporate body registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission in an effort to install his anointed candidate in violation of the constitution of the body.”

Flanked by other members of the association, Evangelizer Chukwu explained that since September 12, 2017, when the governor dissolved the then executive of the market on the pretense of security concern and appointed a caretaker who is not a trader in breach of the market’s constitution, the governor has vehemently opposed conduct of election into the leadership of the market in line with the constitution of the market.

Evangelizer Chukwu said that the governor had insisted that the constitution of the market be amended or new constitution written to allow election where every trader single trader will vote in election of leadership of the market against the six-man delegate election from various commodities which the constitution had prescribed.    

“This journey started on 12 of September 2017 when the then executive of Ogbete was dissolved by the executive governor of Enugu state promising us that in six months’ time that there will be election.

“On August 28, 2018 we were at the Government house on his invitation when he wanted our support for his second term election. At that meeting he promised that our election is due and that the constitution would be used to conduct ours after his election and we all jubilated and left. 

"Regrettably, after months of his re-election, on October, the governor invited us, do you know the funniest thing the he said" that our constitution must be amended, before conducting our election? This is in clear violations of Articles 5, 7(a) and 27 of our constitution that made it very clear about the method of our election. And we are a registered association with CAC.

“However, we don’t mind who wins but let the constitutional provisions be followed in doing so", citing other markets in the state like; Ogege market in Nsukka, Orba International market in his home town, Garriki market, and Coal Camp Motor Spare Parts, all their elections were conducted through six man delegate. Why is Ogbete Market election different,” he queried.

Lending voice, Chief Okwudili Nnamani, a trader from wine and spirit commodity section asked the governor to remove his interest from the market election so that  an election will be conducted for the traders in accordance with the market’s constitution for peace to reign, adding that asking all traders to come to Okpara Square in a stampede election is autocratic and not in conformity with democracy.

"Since after the dessolution of the market EXCO, there have arisen many claims and some court litigations on the issue of the leadership in the market yet the government of Enugu state in what could be described as a degeneration from the sublime to the radiculous has thrown decorum and decency to the mud in utter disregard to justice to impede on the due process of election in Ogbete Enugu", he stated.

Also in her contribution, Deaconess Ngozi Udochukwu, from textile commodity appealed to governor Ugwuanyi thus, “As a father of Enugu state he should be fair to all and sundry. There shall be equity and fairplay. We are still soliciting and asking him to do things as a child of God the way it supposed to be done.”        
However the market is presently under the  controll of a caretaker leadership which the governor set up since 2017 after dissolving the duly elected president Hon. Temple Ude upon what has been generally criticised as unfounded security treat against the former executives of the market.

When contacted on telephone for reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ugwuanyi, Chuks Ugwuoke, declined comment.

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