Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Anambra: Afor-Igwe Market protests Government extortion of levy

Afor-Igwe  Market Traders Protest Over Non-Conduct Of Election, Extortion By Local Govt Officials.
Traders of Afor- Igwe Market, Umudioka, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested over extortion and what they described as unnecessary interference by the leadership of Dunukofia Local Government.
The traders comprising men, women and children who carried green leaves and placards locked-up their shops for several hours in protest of high handedness by the local government authority.
Protesting along the old Enugu/Onitsha road with placards with some inscriptions. “we want election in Afor-Igwe market, “interim leadership must stop” “Appointment of market leaders by local government authority has hindered progress in the market,” “No toilet facilities and bore-hole, yet we are exploited”.
The protest which caused a vehicular traffic around the area, however, necessitated motorists diverting to Eziowelle/ Abatete Road in a bid to get to their destinations. While those who had business to transact at Umunachi axis had to wait for long hours before passing through.
The leader of the protesting traders, Mr. Toochukwu Nwude and the interim chairman of the market told the press that the leadership of the local government had for a very long time impoverished traders in the area by imposing high stallage fees on them.
He noted that several representations have been made to Dunukofia Local Government to approve an election for traders in the market, stressing that the local government officials were exploiting and benefiting from the non conduct of election in the area as they always removed any interim leader that challenged their authority.
Mr. Nwude who frowned at the dilapidated nature of structures in the market told newsmen that the local government has bluntly refused to build toilet facilities and electrify the market despite enormous revenue accruable from the market, stressing that if it were a democratic market, traders were free to initiate ideas on how best to develop their business premises for businesses to thrive and called on the new commissioner for commerce and Anambra Markets Traders’ Association led by chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo to organize elections in the mark



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