From Nweke Nweke, Awka
God in His infinite mercies last Thursday averted what could have been bloody market election in Anambra State when suspected cultists said to be working for the President General, Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (AMATAS) Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo stripped themselves completely naked and disrupted Nkpor Main Market election held at Onitsha South Mini Studium, Onitsha South Local Government Area of the State.
An eyewitness account hinted that the barbaric act of the touts started when the AMATAS leadership noticed that there was an attempt to rig out a candidate of their choice by the working machineries of the outgoing president of the market accused for been head bent on imposing his own anointed candidate to the detrimental of the entire traders in thw controversial Nkpor Main Market.
Howevwr, the accreditation of the legible voters started at about 10am with calling of the names of the market traders who are mainly female and as at 3.30pm when 247ureports.com visited the venue of the disrupted election, the accreditation exercise was still ongoing.
The violence, according to our implacable source erupted when the members of the butchers section of the market were denied accreditation by the electoral committee members while the butchers and other traders said to were denied of performing their civic responsibility started throwing stones and other dangerous weapons inside the election venue from outside without any security agents attending to the actions of the troubleshooters mot until the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Fegge Police Division, SP Rabiau Garuba stormed the election venue and calm the situation.
After waiting so long without kickstarting the election, the women who most of them wore their Christmas cloths, started singing with a view of calling on God to intervene. As they were still singing and possibly trying to dance down God from His throne, a top official from AMATAS, according to our implacable sources, announced the cancellation of the election on the ground that the women should go back home and attend to their domestic functions.
As the exchange of stones, bottles and even clubs between the traders inside and outside the venue of the election lasted, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Fegge Police Division, SP Rabiu Garuba was attracted into the crisis as he led some of his officers to forestall break down of law and order in the area.
Speaking, one of the traders who narrowly escape been lynched by the suspected ‘land army’ of AMATAS, one Kenneth Owoh said he lost his screen touch phone and a cash sum of Ten Thousand Naira (#10, 000. 00) only to the hoodlums.
Efforts made to reach the leadership of Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, AMATAS as at the time of filing this report, hit at the rock as calls made across to the phones of AMATAS’s President General, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo kept repeating: “Not available now, call back later”.