Thursday, 15 June 2017

Gov. Obiano re-election ambition tore Onitsha Drug market apart

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Every step allegedly taken to pacify opposition traders at the drug market section of the Onitsha Bridge-Head market has reportedly been debunked by the opposition traders who persistently accused the leadership of the market led by Mr. Uche Eze of unanimously imposing a new site at Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state where a new standardized drug market is expected to be built following a directive from the federal government that open drug markets in the country should relocate to a standard market fit for drug business  by 2017.

However, hinging on the Federal Ministry of Health order which appeared sudden and almost unattainable by the opposition traders led by one Mr. Ugo Nwosu, a former Chairman of the market, the traders are complaining that there was not wide consultations before reaching on the decision to relocate to Oba. However, the Chairman of drug market, Mr. Uche Eze and some members of his executive which include; Chief Okwudili Maduka, PRO, Hon. Livinus Ugwu, 1st Vice-Chairman, Chinedu Okpara, Secretary among others, defended the action of the executives.

They stated that all the parties were duly consulted in the process of selecting a site for the purpose of building a new drug market. Their grievance according to the members of the executive was that their choice of Umuleri and Ogbunike and lately, Awkuzu was not considered. They observed that majority of the market stakeholders, including the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), officials of the state ministry of Health had all visited the site at Oba and approved of it.
Oba according to them was also considered because of its proximity to the commercial town of Onitsha.  

The group which did not mince words in accusing the opposition of raising eyebrows because of the zeal the present executives have  in waging war against the sale and distribution of fake and adulterated drugs which some of the opposition abated during their time in the administration of the market.

Moreover, it was reported that the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano who has expressed worry over the lingering crisis in the market, especially now that the governorship election is fast approaching had several weeks ago summoned both parties to Awka for a settlement of the crisis which if not resolved early, might affect his chances at the November 18th poll.

The opposition traders were said to be unbending in resolving the crisis which prompted the governor to intervene between the traders and the Federal Ministry of Health over the relocation order. The governor, our correspondent observed was said to have convinced the Federal Government to shift the relocation date from August 1st, 2017, to next year August in a bid to placate the opposition traders.

In his submission, the chairman of the drug market under registration as Association of Medical and Pharmaceutical Product Dealers, Onitsha, Mr. Eze  had sworn to return Gov. Obiano for the second time in office. He posited alongside members of the executives to do everything possible to campaign and mobilize electorate to cast their votes for the governor because of his “developmental strides” in the state.

In an interview in his office in Onitsha, President General, Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo maintained that the executives of the drug market have explored all avenue to restore sanity to the market, but to no avail due to the stubbornness of the opposition whom he said lost out in the last market elections.


He advised all aggrieved parties to remain calm and wait for another market election where they would introduce their own style of leadership if they found the style of the present leadership irritating.

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