By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, NNEWI
It was a celebration and throwing of banters at the Building Materials International Market, Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State, on Wednesday, following a rancor free election of leaders of the market.
Traders in the market, who shut down business activities in obedience to directives from the leadership, filed out in their numbers to participate in the election officiated by officials of the State Ministry of Trade and Commerce and Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA.
Vanguard gathered that the return of the incumbent President General of the market, Chief Jude Nwankwo, was a reflection of his popularity, having led the market, the biggest building material market East of the Niger for a first term of four years and empowering over 1,000 traders.
Mr. Nwankwo, a sole candidate for the position of the President, pulled a total of 952 votes in what was described as free, fair and credible election by the Returning Officer and Chairman of ASMATA Onitsha Zone, Chief Sam Emeka.
Addressing the traders, Chief Nwankwo, popularly known as Jollity, thanked the traders for the massive support given to his leadership for the past four years, pledging to consolidate on his past achievements in maintaining peace in the market and eradicating poverty and idleness.
He also promised to advance his rating as a core investor, known for his philanthropy and empowering fellow traders who had experienced misfortune by granting them funds to improve on their businesses and also acquiring massive plots of land for the market housing scheme.
He said: “I thank Governor Willie Obiano for the increasing support to the market including the provision of security that brought peace and tranquility in the market.
“I call on those who lost out to see the election as a game, test of popularity and display maturity by joining hands with us to build a stronger and viable market.”
Vice-President of the market, Sir Cyril Ugwuja who scored 591 votes to retain his position said the incumbent executives’ victory was a testimony of their outstanding performance in the last four years, just as he urged his colleagues to be magnanimous in victory.
Representative of Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, who is President General of ASMATA, Chief Anthony Onwuteaka, who is the ldemili Zonal Chairman of ASMATA, described the election as credible, urging other markets in the state to emulate its transparency and credibility.
On his part, Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to Governor Obiano on Market Affairs and Chief Patron of the market, Silas Ejeabocha, commended the traders’ efforts in ensuring a smooth, successful and violent free election.