No fewer than seven markets have been sealed by the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, for not opening for business on Monday and not participating in the sanitation ordered by the state government.
The seven sealed markets include the Ogbo Afere market, Plastic 1, Plastic 2, Plywood Dealers Association market in Ogbunike, Building Materials in Ogbunike, Bicycle Parts market and Bakery materials market.
The President-General, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna, and his team members, during the visit to the affected markets on Monday, expressed disappointment that the markets did not open despite the directive by the state government that all markets should be opening on Mondays.
Anuna stated that the directive was to help restore the lost glory of the markets in the state, which had been affected by the sit-at-home exercise.
The ASMATA boss and his team visited 18 markets across the state, out of which seven were sealed for non-compliance with the directive.
Anuna said, “Some of the sealed markets only open the gates of their markets for formality’s sake but the executives were nowhere to be seen. The markets need to start opening to restore the lost glory occasioned by the sit-at-home.
“Only the security men who opened the markets were there, even the sanitation exercise was not carried out even if traders were not in the markets. We are more interested in the sanitation exercise after which the markets shops will be opened.”
The Caretaker Committee Chairman at the Bridge head market, Onitsha, Chinedu Ezekweike, while responding to questions from the PG and his team during the visit to the market, promised that by next week, there would be a massive turnup of traders.
Ezekweike said traders were happy that the Monday sit-at-home is now becoming a thing of the past.
He said, “The Bridge Head Market Monday prayer and clean-up exercise was successful today, market executives and line chairmen complied, as you can see,” he told the PG.
The chairman of New Auto Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, Chief Elysius Ozorkwere, thanked the governor for the wonderful idea of opening the markets on Mondays and the sanitation exercise.
Ozorkwere said, “We all agreed that Anambra State must be neat and through ASMATA PG, we shifted sanitation and prayer to Mondays and to ensure every market opens and participates.
“Since 7 a.m. today, we have been here doing sanitation and prayer after which we opened our shops because we are losing millions every Monday because of the sit-at-home and no one is enjoying it.
“Since we have been here today, there is no problem. Everywhere has been cool and calm and I hope it will continue to be like that and we are abiding by it.
“We assure the governor of our promise and cooperation and when you assure that, you show it practical and that is what we are showing here practically.
“Since ASMATA PG assumed his office he has been trying, it is not easy for the market leader to move around markets every Monday and that is why we, the executives, also come out every Monday by 7am.”
The Chairman, Amalgamated Tyre Dealers Association, Chief Charle Ikeli, on his part, said, “I thank the governor for his effort, we have suffered enough for the past year or thereabout, every Monday we can’t do business, we are jeopardising the future of our children.
“I will not forget to thank the ASMATA PG, for the past three months, he used to educate and advise us on how to open our markets every Monday and in my position as the chairman, in every meeting and prayer I advised them the need to open their shops.
The ASMATA PG, who rounded off the inspection in the evening, warned market leaders to ensure they open markets on Mondays and promised to continue the inspection next week.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.