v Say they are ready for fresh polls
Cross sections of traders at the Imo International Market Extension Egbeada in Mbaitoli LGA, Imo State, last Saturday, Sept.5th 2020, collectively extolled the Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma (Onwo Oyoko) for the recent intervention and cancellation of the elections recently held in all the Market Unions in Imo State, following reported acrimonies, outcries and lamentations.
The praises for the governor were as a result of the recent announcements and executive declaration of the Governor that all markets elections conducted in Imo State for the Market Unions have been cancelled, null and void until further notice.
The Egbeada market traders who jointly spoke to newsmen earlier, rejected the outcome of the Market Union Election that brought one Comr. Vitalis Okoronkwo as the Egbeada Market Chairman.
The election which was described as a kangaroo exercise was marred by multiple electoral irregularities, impunity, imposition of candidates with unpopular persons who do not have the mandates of the traders, to lead.
The illegal and unfair election exercise was therefore cancelled by the Governor after it was held at Ahiajoku Center New Owerri on Saturday August 29th 2020 by some leaders and appointees from the Ministry of Commerce/Industry and those from ISAMATA who failed to do the right thing but instead,allegedly room bribes at the time of screening and form sales.
Also, the traders at Egbeada who equally frowned at the ugly processes of the cancelled polls, revealed that due process was not followed in conducting the election and announcing results.
The marketers therefore commended the Governor for cancelling the whole elections, as they used the opportunity to thank the Governor for his quick responses towards their outcry against what they described as injustice meted out against the contestants and the traders of Egbeada market during the so-called election which was declared null and void by the Governor.
Traders at the markets more so maintained that status quo, remains till further notice as directed by Governor Uzodinma, till such a time the Governor approves the conduct of any election in all the various markets in Imo State.
Among the decisions taken by the Egbeada Market traders over the development, include: 1. Let the govt. allow the traders to elect the most credible and transparent traders as leaders of the market. 2. The Government . should give them the chance to vote into power their various choices. 3. That the government . should provide an enabling environment for the traders especially security during and after the election. 4. That the government . should as a matter of allowing lasting peace to reign, desist from any interference on their choice of candidates and 5.That the government . should conduct the election exercise in Egbeada where the market is located and not dragging the marketers to Ahiajoku Centre New Owerri Area of Imo State due to distance, as such would enable all the traders to participate and vote keenly for their individual choices.
Finally, the traders of Egbeada International Market therefore appealed to the Governor to ensure free, fair and credible election exercise by allowing the people’s choices to emerge as leaders of the Market Union in any further election exercise slated in the nearest future, even as the traders expressed readiness for the forthcoming fresh polls in Imo State.
Meanwhile on Sept.7th 2020, the Interim Management Committee, IMC, Chairman of Mbaitolii, Hon. John Ekeh, came to the market to officially inform them that the election that was cancelled by the Governor remains cancelled. He added that the status quo of the market leadership, should remain intact.As gathered by this reporter,immediately the IMC Chairman reaffirmed the cancellation of the election of the Market leadership, the women of the market began to mock the Market Master,Mr. Remmy Mbata, the embattled Chairman of the Market, Mr.Vitalis Okonkwo and his purported Executive members.