To avert a possible break down of law and order, Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, yesterday ordered the suspension of the planned election into the leadership of Ogige Market Amalgamated Traders’ Association, OMATAN, Nsukka.
The election was scheduled to be conducted tomorrow (Sunday) by the caretaker committee chairman of Nsukka Council Area, Mrs. Rose Onah.
The Governor’s directive followed a protest by two different groups in the market, who stormed the Government House, Enugu in their numbers.
The first group was led by one of the chairmanship candidates, Mr. Okoro Onyekachi Christian, who said with the exception of one, three other candidates were ready to go for the election in line with the provision of their constitution.
While addressing the traders, Ugwuanyi, who expressed disaffection over their failure to resolve the lingering leadership crisis, blamed the situation on greed and selfishness.
He, therefore, said that in furthering his peace moves in the market, the election should be suspended to give more room for consultations and peace.
“The election will not hold on Sunday; I give you one week, from now till Thursday, go to the chairman and resolve the issues; if you cannot resolve it, I will take another step”, he stated.
While charging the traders to give peace a chance, Ugwuanyi expressed concern over their failure to resolve the issues for over one year.
“We need peace in this State and we shall not tolerate crisis under whatever guise.
“Did you hear that I’m supporting anybody? Did you hear that I have any candidate? Tell me what we will do to make sure that peace returns there. I am not interested on who becomes the chairman, no commissioner has a hand there, what we want is peace and development of that market”, the Governor further stated.
Earlier, the Patrons of the market, in a petition signed by Chief Pedro Azowue, Chief Godwin Ezugwu, Sir Patrick Ezugwu and seven others, accused the council chairman, Mrs. Onah of sowing crisis in the market by upholding illegality.
“The whole patrons and matrons were embarrassed by the public notice pasted at the OMATAN secretariat, today 25th November, 2016, purporting that there will be election on the 27th of November, 2016, Sunday”, the group said in the petition.
They maintained that as custodians of traders in the market, the onus was on them to protect, preserve and defend the constitution of OMATAN, stressing that anything on the contrary may lead to break down of law and order.
”The caretaker committee personally, without and reference to the patrons and matrons of OMATAN changed the constitution of OMATAN and none of the committee members is a trader.
“The constitution stipulates that each line should produce two persons, who we call line representatives and they are the only people eligible to vote. But what we now have is a situation where Onah’s committee decided to change the goal post in the middle of the game. This should not stand”, they begged the Governor.