From Nweke Nweke, Awka
Peace and tranquility are said to be under threat at the Onitsha Patient and Proprietary Medicine Dealers Union (OPPMDU) following the alleged ambiguous levy of N20, 000. 00 (Twenty thousand Naira) allegedly imposed on each of them by the Executive of the market, headed by, Mr. Uche Ezeh.
Although, Mr. Ezeh said the amount, if generated according the market boss, was to be used in lobbing the Federal Government not to close the market, noting that July 1, 2015 was given to all the open drugs markets in Nigeria to shutdown their business.
Sources within the office of the Chairman accused to have designed a method of siphoning over N140m (One Hundred and Forty Million Naira) from over seven thousand traders of the drugs market, was said to have few days now, ordered for the closure of the market without any former notice to the traders.
It was gathered that the Chairman, Mr. Uche Ezeh allegedly in lured one Mr. Okwudili Maduka to sponsor him in the election that brought both him and Maduka to seat as Chairman and Public Relations Officer respectively of the market with the promise of refunding him (Okwudili Maduka) immediately they were sworn in.
When they assumed office, things fall apart (apologies to Prof. Chuna Achebe of the blessed memory) as the old allies were said to have been on each other’s throat over the refund of the money as their initial believe that money flows in the market seems to be in the opposite and they allegedly designed a method of levying each trader N20, 000. 00 (Twenty thousand Naira), mandating that they have to pay on or before Wednesday, August 5, 2015.
One of the executive members, who never wanted his name in print, accused his boss to have organized an executive meeting at Hosing Estate Recreation Club last Friday instead of making use of the befitting ultramodern office of the drugs, this was an attempt to stir fear into the minds of the chairmen, secretaries and the stakeholders of the market so as other traders would not oppose his plan.
In a more alleged criminal manner, Uche Ezeh is said to have secretly organized and taught his songbird on what to say during the meeting even as it was learnt that they never allowed democracy to play a role in the said meeting.
On what he said the money was made for, our source said the Chairman had told those who attended the meeting that he intend to use over N100m (One Hundred Million Naira) to bribe the office of the Federal Ministry of Heath, Abuja from closing the market as earlier stated by the Federal Government.
When contacted, the embattled Chairman said the issue is an internal matter, adding that their counterpart in Lagos, Aba and other drugs market nationwide are all working to dialogue with the Federal Government through their contact within the Federal Ministry of Heath, Abuja.
He expressed shock that the traders who threw their weight behind him in bribing the Federal Government would be said to be protesting on the issue. “My brother, I beg, this issue is not for press consumption, it is still an internal matter and I have told them to pay the money in two installments” He said.
When 247ureports.com sought the comment of the Divisional Officer of Fegge Police Station, SP Rabiu Garuba on the matter, he said he is not aware of such issue but vowed to investigate it properly.
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