BY OKONKWO EZE, Onitsha
Markets in AnambraState have been closed down for business from today till Monday, next week to enable all the traders participate actively during the voting exercise.
The President of Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (AMATAS), Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo who disclosed this yesterday in a telephone chat with newsmen, said every trader who has voter’s card must exercise his or her franchise, as a civic responsibility.
Ezenwankwo further disclosed that all the markets, including Onitsha main market, Ose-Ekwodu, Ochanja, Nnewi markets Aguata and Awka markets would remain closed till that Monday, adding that security operatives have been directed to guard the markets within their localities.
Also contributing, the Publicity Secretary of AMATAS, Uzor A. Uzor, said they were not necessarily closing the markets because of government directive but because today, as a day for the election of a new person that will govern the state for the next four years, should be regarded as sacred.
Uzor therefore urged the traders not to misbehave throughout the voting exercise so as not to cause confusion and heat up the exercise, but to quietly go to the polling boots, cast their votes for any candidate of their choice and then go home peacefully.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Importers Association of Nigeria, Chief Gilbert Bravo Obi has urged political parties to shun violence and electoral malpractices as we are all brothers and sisters.
He also urged security agencies to be fair to all the parties and if they see any one causing trouble, they should intervene to avoid violence.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday, Obi advised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to on its own side, work with the fear of God and love for humanity by declaring the right winner and avoid addition of votes for a particular candidate.
According to Bravo, “INEC should release result as soon as possible as delay could lead to rigging and falsification of results”.
He urged losers to accept defeat in good faith and work together with the winner, for the overall development of our dear Anambra state.
Asking the youths not to allow themselves to be used as thugs, the importers’ boss charged the general public to exercise their franchise as their votes would go a long way in producing a leader of their own choice.