The leadership of Ogbette Main Market Traders Association (OMMTA), Enugu has called on government officials to stay neutral in the election of executive members of the association.
The association also absolved the state governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, of complicity in the crisis allegedly championed by an executive member of the association.
Addressing newsmen in Enugu, the president of the association, Chief Temple Ude, said that some government officials were instigating crisis among them.
He said that traders in the market had enjoyed unprecedented peace in the past seven years, a disposition that had made the governor accept the proposal to give grants to traders in the state as well as donate N20 million as further support.
He, however, said that the association was currently under threat by a group serving the interest of some government officials from Nsukka zone of the state.
Ude, who is also the Special Assistant to the Governor on Market Matters and Development, said that the current situation would not affect the unflinching support the governor enjoyed from the traders.
He said that the reason for the crisis was the forthcoming election of executive members of the association, adding that some unpopular people wanted to hijack the association.
According to him, such people are hiding under the pretext of coming from the same zone with the governor.
“The governor will never use his position to influence any activities of the traders. It is some politicians from Nsukka that are championing the crisis in our association,” he said.
Ude said that the traders needed to be allowed to elect their leaders, adding that any form of imposition would brew anarchy among the traders.
“If you try to impose anybody in the market you are brewing crisis. The traders will surely revolt because the market is where we make our living,” he said.
He said that the association under his administration had built peaceful bridges which must not be allowed to collapse due to the antics of few members.
“We made transparency a paramount aspect of our administration which was manifest in pay-rolling executive members for the first time,” he said.
Ude said that it had never been as rosy and that their efforts at building good rapport culminated in the governor accepting to include traders as members of Development Area Centers in the state.
He posited that traders at the market were appreciative of the governor’s support which had led to the institution of traders welfare scheme were several of them had been empowered.
He called on those fanning the embers of disunity to desist forthwith and realign with efforts aimed at consolidating the progress made by his administration.
Moses Oyediran, Enugu