Onitsha traders divided over planned election
By ENYIM ENYIM
ONITSHA—There was uneasy calm in some major sections of the Bridgehead market in the commercial city of Onitsha yesterday as some traders threatened to burn down the market should the present leadership continued with its plan to conduct election in the market on Saturday.
The traders, who reacted to the election notice released by the incumbent President General of Bridgehead Market, Mr. Emeka Ilonze, were angry that there was no wide consultation and respect to the constitution guiding the market unions that made up the entire bridgehead market.
Addressing journalists on the matter, leader of the Movement for Good Governance, MGG, Chief Ikenna Madubuko, said the election time table allegedly released by the incumbent leadership of the market was part of the gimmick to impose unwanted person on the traders.
Madubuko further said the incumbent President of the market had no right to constitute electoral committee, adding that he lacked the moral rectitude to appoint committee members that would conduct free and fair election.
“Mr. Ilonze is the current PG of the Bridgehead market comprising all other markets within Onitsha, his tenure had not elapsed and he hurriedly constituted electoral committee to conduct election on Saturday while he is still contesting. Our cry to the state government is to intervene in this matter because if nothing is done from now till Saturday, the entire market could be consumed by crisis”
He also accused the leadership of trying to perpetuate itself in power, adding, the same person went and registered the Bridgehead market at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC without the knowledge of the traders and made himself the Chairman, Boad of Trustees, BoT and now, he has been in power as PG for four years, what we want is a stop to this planned charade because it could escalate the already tensed situation in the market.
The group further called on the incumbent leadership to render account to the entire traders for the period of four years and urged the security agencies to investigate the proposed election.