Onitsha market crisis deepens as stakeholders pledge support for interim chairman

By Chuks Eke
The crisis of confidence rocking Ose Ekwodu Market  in Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial hub appears not to be subsiding as some stake holders in the market have pledged their loyalty to the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Ikechukwu Umeanozie.
This is coming on the heels of calls by leaders of a section of the market  few weeks ago,  on Governor Chukwuma Soludo,  to reinstate all the dissolved  elected market leadership whose tenures have not expired.
Some of the market they were referring to include Ose Ekwodu, Ogbaru Main market, Bridgehead market and Electronics Dealers Association, Onitsha.
But Chief Fidelis Arazu,  who was the chairman of Zone Four of the Ose Ekwodu market  said that contrary to some mischief makers who are bent in clinging to the market leadership,  there is no problem in the Market.
He lamented that there are people who want to cause problem in the market by creating an impression that there is crisis in Ose Ekwodu.
“Ose Ekwodu is known for peace but some have been going about causing trouble. They will not succeed” said Chief Arazu.
Contrary to their plot, said Arazu, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Ikechukwu Umeanozie, is best leader the market has had in recent time.
He also said the constitution of Zone Four stipulates four years tenure which Okechukwu Chukwuemeka had completers.
Chief John Uzonna, a patron of the market, said Chief Umeanozie is the best market leader they have seen so far, saying that he (Umeanozie) was given money to destabilize the Ose Ekwodu drug market but he turned it down.
 He equally lauded the Caretaker Committee Chairman, saying that the traders are happy with him in the way he has been piloting the affairs of the market.
Also speaking,  former Vice -Chairman,  Zone Four  and Chairman of Ose Drug Market, Stanley Uche, said that the traders have no problem with the current Caretaker Committee led by Chief Umeanozie.
“Umeanozie is a good man. He is a God sent. We thank Governor Chukwuma Soludo for appointing him. For now,  he is doing well” Uche  said.
In his contribution, Chief Nsoke Matthew, chairman Medicine Dealers Association of the market said there is peace in their medicine market.
He alleged that some elements who want to hijack the market for their selfish interest were bent in taking over the market.
He said that they tried to compromise Umeanozie who refused, then they  petitioned the umbrella market body who turned their petition down.
Since then, he said, they have been going about trying to create problem in the market.
Nsoke said the drug market is presently intact and solidly behind Umeanozie leadership contrary to what opposition would want people to believe.
 Chukwunonso Odua, who claimed  he is the chairman of  Zone  Four, said the tenure of the past executive has since expired but they refused to conduct an election.
Consequently, a Caretaker was imposed on the zone four and the place is now peaceful.
“For a long time, prayers were not held in zone one, said Odua,  but they recently held one,  indicating the return of peace to the market.
Odua also said Chief Umeanozie has done well by chasing out thugs and other elements who harass, intimidate and extort  ordinary traders in the market.


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