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Thugs attack Onitsha traders, disrupt electoral proceeding

Thugs attack Onitsha traders, disrupt electoral proceeding

Some traders in Onitsha Bridge Head Drug Market, Anambra State were on Monday allegedly attacked by suspected thugs during a meeting of the executives ahead of the market elections.

While some of the victims were allegedly attacked with chairs and broken bottles, others scampered for safety leading to stampede in the market before normalcy was later restored.

Crises were said to have erupted following disagreement among contestants, line chairmen and secretaries over planned election of executives of the market.

The announcement by the President General of Bridge Head Market, Chief Sunday Obinze that election of officers for the market must hold reportedly triggered the chaos as some of the traders expressed surprise on the sudden announcement of the election date without prior information to the contestants.

The Nation gathered that the thugs, numbering 20, invaded the meeting venue as some traders were kicking against the announcement considering that the market just resumed after five weeks lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reacting, two chairmanship candidates in the market, Ndubisi Chukwuleta and Ugochukwu Nwosu accused Obinze of acting a script to foist an unpopular candidate on the traders.

“Several actions of the electoral committee members who are also contestants in the election which included keeping them in the dark against election modalities, outrageous nomination form fees and insisting on using delegates instead of line registered members are all pointers that they want to rig the election to favour an anointed candidate,” they said.

They called on Governor Obiano to intervene in the crises to ensure level playing ground for all contestants at a later date so that the traders can freely elect their leaders without compulsion.

Contacted, President General of Amalgamated Traders Association in Anambra, ASMATA, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu said the election would not hold until enabling environment was provided, while Obinze insisted that the election must hold.
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