Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and his Commissioner for Commerce, Market and Wealth Creation, Chief Uchenna Okafor, have been urged to immediately dissolve the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) Caretaker Committee and restore democracy in Anambra markets.
The Anambra State Traders’ Forum (ATF), which made the call in Onitsha yesterday, lamented the increasing undemocratic culture in the State under Obiano’s administration.
The group said that apart from installing Caretaker Committees in virtually all the markets in the State including the State markets central body, Amalgamated Market Traders of Anambra State (AMATAS), the Governor has refused to conduct Local Market election in the various markets due for election in the State inspite of the citizens’ frequent calls.
In the Statement signed by their President, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, they said the ASMATA Caretaker Committee’s 6 months tenure has since expired nearly 2 years ago and the Governor and the Commissioner are not ready to allow democratic process to take place in the markets.
They said that the continuous stay in office by Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, and his members amount to gross illegality, insisting the State Government should urgently set machinery in motion to organise election into the duly registered market central body, AMATAS.
AMATAS will accordingly, they said, organise election in other markets to bring order, peace and democracy in those markets.
ATF said the Chairman and members of the Caretaker Committee in all ramifications lacked legitimacy to still parade themselves when even their illegal tenure has expired.
“They should therefore resign and hand over to AMATAS which has the power to organise elections as a duly registered body with Corporate Affairs Commissions (CAC) inline with their extant regulations the group said.
The State Government had forcibly stopped the election being organised by AMATAS to replace Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, their former President-General, who is now representing Orumba North and South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
In their place the State Government set up a Caretaker Committee with many people as members and their tenure had since elapsed.