PROTEST: Ogbete traders reject Eze-led Caretaker, demand new election

By AdvocateNews on 11/09/2019

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TRADERS in Ogbete main market Enugu have strongly protested the long delay in conducting election for the emergence of a new leadership that will pilot the affairs of the market union.

They are demanding the immediate dissolution of the caretaker committee led by one John Eze, which has been running the affairs of the market  over two years.

The angry traders who carried placards to express their grievances protested in the council premises of Enugu North local government headquarters along Okpara avenue, Enugu for several hours on Tuesday.

Some of the placards read: “Ogbete traders don’t want caretaker anymore we want elected officials,” "John Eze is not a trader, remove him now," “Give Ogbete date of election,” “We are not going without date of election,” “Our election should not pass two weeks from today.”

Leader of the Concerned Ogbete market traders, Chief Osita Ike who spoke on their behalf told the chairman of Enugu North local government council that the overstay of the caretaker committee in Ogbete for a period of Two years and one month instead of six months given to the committee, was long overdue and therefore unacceptable.

He lamented that it was an aberration for a non-trader to oversee the administration of traders inside the market and called for immediate conduct of election.

“Enugu state is one of the most peaceful states and does not need crisis, therefore we are demanding for immediate dissolution of caretaker government, immediate conduct of election in this month of September 2019,” Ike demanded amidst applause from the protesting traders.

He alleged that the electoral committee set up to conduct the election was denied access to the market by the John Eze-led caretaker committee, which has vowed to remain in office for four years.

Chairman of Enugu North local government council, Hon. Emma Onoh, who received the protesters, appealed to them to go back to their shops while he dialogues with relevant stakeholders for the conduct of the election in the market without further delay.

He pointed out that he was ready to conduct the election having set up an electoral committee for that purpose.

"I will do everything to ensure that the election is held in free, fair and transparent manner to enthrone an acceptable leadership in Ogbete. That is why I insisted that the election be held at Okpara Square and there is no going back," the council boss said.

He, however, charged the traders not to be violent in their agitation but to maintain peace in the market until the election is conducted.

Police detachment from Enugu Area command and Central Police Station, Enugu as well as operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS were present throughout the peaceful protest to ensure a peaceful process.

The leader of the police team assured the traders that their complaints would be directed to the appropriate quarters and urged them to ensure that peace reign in the market.

Posted 11/09/2019 07:34:44 AM

 

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