From Ovat Mike,
About three thousand traders at the popular Aluminum manufacturing building market Ogbunike, near Onitsha, Anambra state have continued to lament over lack of access roads that linked Enugu-Onitsha expressway to the market.
The traders threatened to block the Enugu-Onitsha expressway in protest, if the Anambra state government failed between now and next week to address the situation before the raining season commences.
The chairman of the Onitsha Aluminum, Allied Dealers and Technicians Association of Nigeria (OAADTA), Chief Ifeanyi Okeke, who addressed Journalists at his office in Onitsha, on Sunday, said the traders at the market are losing millions of naira due to the poor access roads, disclosing that the bad state of the roads are really driving away their customers.
“Many of our members at our former market place at Oguta road Onitsha are stuck because the place has become landlocked.
Our single major challenge now is for the state government to fix the access road from the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, a mere 1.3km span. Assisting us in this area is the greatest shot in the arm we need to fully relocate and excel to our potential.
“Recently some foreign partners who visited the the industrial complex, were impressed with the rapid development of the site, but frowned at the nature of the access road. The fragile wares, especially glass, cannot be safely transported through the dilapidated express/Ogbunike/Oze/Nkwelle road that leads to the market.
“The big trucks that would be conveying goods to our market will fall at that road and goods will damage. We are not the only ones losing, the government is also losing its IGR here because if the market is doing well, the government can benefit through collection of IGR. Now the bad road is mounting serious impediment to progress of the traders, everyone stands to lose.
Our members cannot longer feed or send their children to school any longer, some are being indebted to banks and business partners who supply goods on credit to them due lack of conducive environment.
So, the protest is necessary to let public know what we are going through in the curse of struggle to survive, Okeke added.
The governor promised to rehabilitate the road in one of the meetings with him through the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Engr. Marcel Ihejiofor in Awka last year, but up till now nothing has been done. The untarred road is getting worse every day. The government should come and save us before the rainy season sets in.
The Secretary of the Association, Mr. Chiedozie Christopher, who also spoke on the situation, said; it took us over 20 years of perseverance to create the organized sector we have here today. We have contributed our quota to Anambra state IGR. With centralization of our activities in this industrial complex, the volume and collection of government revenue from our activities will improve.
The Secretary disclosed that the present volume of N1.5b per annum is far below the potential, because their members are scattered. This is expected to rise to over N6.0b within the next one year, when all our members and affiliates relocate fully here, and our activities are centralized and optimized.
On this note, we passionately call on our able working governor Chief Willie Obiano to come to our rescue and tar the road for us, he concluded.
New Artisan Market Crisis: Traders Laud Ugwuanyi For Restoring Peace, Normalcy
From Chuma Austin Enugu
Traders at the New Artisan Livestock Market Enugu have lauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for wading into the protracted crisis rocking the place and subsequently reopening it for business .
News Echo recalls that the market which was closed down last December had been characterized by crisis, following litigation by a citizen of the state, one Emeka Nnaji, who is laying claimed that some portions of the market belongs to his late father, Chief Everest Nnaji.
The situation had pitched the traders and Nnaji against each other, leading to disruption of business activities in the market for some time, before the state government’s recent intervention.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Enugu on the peace that has returned to the market, Chairman of the Livestock traders Association of the market, Alhaji Danlandi Abubakar, said we are indeed “grateful to the Enugu State governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for what he has done for us”
Abubakar noted, “This intervention in this market has further shown that Ugwuanyi is truly a man of peace, and political father of all in the state, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
“We want to use this medium to assure him and his government that we the traders in this market will continue to support his administration, and play our role as responsible and law abiding citizens”, he added.
In his comment, Patron of the Association, Alhaji Sani Mohammed, also expressed appreciation to Governor Ugwuanyi for the singular act, advising the Governor to keep up the good work he is doing in the state.
He advised the governor to always be careful with sychophants who are only interested in their personal gains.
Mohammed, who described the governor as a detrabalized Nigerian, said his administration since inception had always touched the lives of the poor masses through people-oriented programmes and policies.
He urged the governor to keep the flag flying in the people-oriented programmes.
It could be recalled that the Counsel to the Association, Olu Omotayo, who is in court through his organization, Civil Rights Realization and Advancement Network (CRRAN) over an appeal suit filed against Nnaji, had earlier petitioned the governor over the claim by Claimant that the market which was duly Gazetted and allocated to the traders by the state government belongs to his late father.
Meanwhile, Omotayo, in a letter of commendation to the governor over the restoration of peace at the market said” the Board of Trustees of the Civil Rights Realization & Advancement Network (CRRAN) writes to commend your intervention in the purported takeover of the Goat market by a private citizen purporting to be acting vide a Writ of Execution.
“You did not only intervene on the part of ensuring justice but you went further to unconditionally ordered the re-opening of the Goat Market which was closed down in December 2016.
“The action you took in respect of this matter not minding court actions taken by the Goat Market traders who were mostly of Northern extraction, against the government immediately after the closure of the market, portrays you as a political father and leader who believes in justice and fairness for all citizens irrespective of their ethnic or religious background.
The letter made available to News Echo in Enugu reads, “We further reiterate that the traders of the Goat Market are peaceful and law abiding citizens who have firm belief and respect for constituted authority and respect for the state government.
“We again join the leadership and thousands of Goat Market (New Artisan) traders to say Thank you and God bless.