The Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA has locked no less than seven markets for failing to open for business on Monday and omitting to take part in the cleaning measures imposed by the state government.
The Ogbo Afere market, the Plastic 1, Plastic 2, Plywood Dealers Association market in Ogbunike, the market for bicycle parts, the market for bakery supplies and the market for building materials are among the seven sealed markets.
During a visit to the impacted markets on Monday, Chief Humphrey Anuna, President-General of ASMATA, and his team expressed dismay that the markets did not open despite an order from the state government that all markets should open on Mondays.
Anuna claimed that the goal of the instruction was to help the state’s markets, which had suffered as a result of the sit-at-home exercise, regain their former grandeur.
Seven of the 18 markets that the ASMATA chairman and his staff visited in the state were sealed because they had disobeyed the order.
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.”
During the PG and his team’s visit to the market, Chinedu Ezekweike, the caretaker committee chairman, guaranteed that by the following week, there would be a significant increase in the number of traders.
Ezekweike claimed that traders were pleased with the disappearance of the Monday stay-at-home.
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.
Chief Elysius Ozorkwere, the chairman of New Auto Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, commended the governor for the brilliant idea of opening the markets on Mondays and the cleanliness project.
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 concluded the inspection that evening and vowed to continue the inspection the following week. He cautioned market leaders to make sure their markets are open on Mondays.
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