By Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Nwabueze Okonkwo
APC candidate Dr. Tony Nwoye and Governor Willie Obiano were yesterday endorsed by different sections of the influential trading sector in the state.
While 66 registered markets and 177 village unregistered markets in the state pledged to support the aspiration of Nwoye of the APC, Governor Obiano made away with the endorsement of the influential Onitsha Head Bridge market.
The endorsement of Dr. Nwoye by the 66 markets and 177 unregistered markets took place yesterday at a meeting held at the Ifesinachi Transport Company Plaza, along Onitsha-Enugu Expressway.
Present at the meeting was the leadership of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, led by its President, Chief Vin Obi, Secretary, Chief Ephraim Ikwunne, Public Relations Officer, Chief Okey Arinze, and Treasurer, Chief Augustine Okonkwo.
The traders said the endorsement of Nwoye was not because of his party but because of his personal attributes and dedication to the interest of the people. They nevertheless asked Dr. Nwoye to ensure he fulfills all his campaign promises to them.
The market traders said he should ensure that whatever is due to them is brought to their door steps and not be passed through those they described as hijackers. Spokesman for the leaders of the 66 markets and General Patron of Onitsha Main Market, Chief Vincent Ezike, said “the era has gone when politicians use party to deceive the Igbo race, Igbo people have been known for following the ruling party, but this time around we are following individuals based on their personal attributes.”
“Party to us is like a vehicle, we have different transport companies in Anambra State, and Southeast in general, the company whose vehicle moves fast and delivers our goods to aid our business is the one we follow.
Chief Charles Ikegwuonu from New Auto Spare Parts Nnewi said the traders’ from Nnewi were queuing behind Dr. Nwoye for his humility, while Chief Raphael Ezenwankwo, a patron of Ekwulobia Traders and Allied Workers Association, ETAWA, said their support for Nwoye was because he is approachable and has listening ears.
Speaking on behalf of the 177 unregistered village markets, Ichie Emmanuel Akwuobi, popularly known as Ayongo from Achalla Market in Awka North Local Government Area, said that they will support any person that can provide them with soft loans and good roads and that they believed that Dr. Nwoye would meet their demands.
Lady Ngozi Ezegolu who spoke on behalf of Nkwo Igbo Ukwu Women Market promised to mobilize market women from Igboukwu to vote for him.
President of ASMATA, who is also Chairman of Onitsha Traders Consultative Forum, OCTF, Chief Obi promised to convey the demands and suggestions of the traders to Dr. Nwoye to ensure that their demands during and after the election are fulfilled.
President of Onitsha Head Bridge Market endorse Obiano
Meanwhile the President-General of Bridge-Head Markets Union, Onitsha, Mr. Sunday Obinze has affirmed that Governor Obiano, the candidate of APGA was better positioned to govern the state.
Briefing newsmen in his office in Onitsha yesterday, he listed some Obiano’s advantages on Obiano’s side include the fact that he has no sponsor that will control him if he wins his second tenure election.
Speaking to newsmen in his office yesterday, Obinze emphasized that he personally preferred Obiano to win for the obvious reasons that he performed above expectation, particularly in the area of security which he said affected an average trader in the state because according to him majority of those being kidnapped and robbed during the dark days of the state were mainly traders.
He said that with most other candidates having sponsors and hoping to recoup their campaign expenses to pay back their sponsors, Obiano who does not have any sponsor would settle down and concentrate on developing the state more than others.
He commended Obiano for initiating the on-going N10 million choose-your market project for all the 64 major market unions in the state, including the Bridge-head market union, adding that he had met with the 27 mini-associations under the Bridge-Head Market and they agreed to channel the N10 million German-flooring of the market.
He mentioned the areas covered by the project as Amalgamated Timber Dealers Association, ATDA up to Oduwano Street down to Tools and Allied Dealers Union and other adjoining streets under its jurisdiction.