By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ONITSHA—THE face-off between Anambra State Government and the dissolved executive committee of the Amalgamated Markets Traders Association Anambra State, AMATAS, deepened yesterday with the government taking over the official administrative headquarters of the traders.
Government went further to ban the association and resuscitated the old traders’ union, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, which was popular during the administration of Chinwoke Mbadinuju.
Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Wealth Creation, Dr. Christian Madubuko personally led security agencies and other leaders of the markets in the state, who are on the side of the government, to supervise the takeover of the traders’ secretariat located on Modebe Street.
The commissioner also announced the proscription of the union, banned its activities and revived ASMATAS, a former umbrella union of Anambra State traders.
Dr. Madubuko led security agencies to thoroughly search the traders’ offices, ordered the removal of everything bearing AMATAS and replaced them with ASMATA.
Signs of trouble were noticed at 9am when the commissioner in company of stern-looking Police men, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, and the Department of State Services, DSS, arrived at the Onitsha Main Market office of the traders’ union and held a short meeting with the leaders of the markets from Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and other places before they drove in a convoy to Traders House at Modebe Street.