Traders under the aegis of Integrity Traders’ Group in Anambra State, have urged Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to sack Dr. Christian Madubuko, his Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Markets and Wealth Creation, for his alleged destruction of markets in the state due to his selfish interest.
In the petition sent to Governor Obiano, the traders alleged that the Commissioner wants to turn Anambra markets into “personal estates.”
In the petition signed by the Chief Emmanuel Okoli, Chairman of the group and Chika Anyanwu, Secretary, they said the petition had become imperative because the President–General of Amalgamated Markets Traders of Anambra State (ASMATA), Chief Okwudil Ezenwankwo, has failed to prevail on the Commissioner to retrace his steps in his desperate bid to plunge the markets in the state into monumental crises.
The traders expressed surprise that the Commissioner abandoned other departments in his Ministry to only concentrate on fueling crises in the markets in the state by encouraging opposition to cause problems for incumbent market leaders so as to impose caretaker committees.
The commissioner’s motive for the Caretaker Committees, the traders further alleged, was to use it as a conduit pipe to siphon money ranging from N150, 000 to N3 million from those he appoints chairmen and members.
The money, the traders said, the Commissioner collected through his relations at a hotel in Onitsha from all the markets he imposed caretaker committees, while a paltry sum of the money was paid into government’s coffers.
The group said the current crisis at the Ogbaru Main Market was created by the commissioner to install a caretaker committee, which he did by removing the incumbent chairman, Chief Victor Nwawuzie, to install Mr. Chinedu Ijezie, whom he has removed again to install another person, Chief Buknor Agu.
“Unfortunately, when Buknor was not dancing to his tune, he attempted to remove him with one Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu but the traders resisted him,” the group said.
The group added, “Right now, the commissioner has introduced an illegal capitation tax at the Ogbaru Main Market from which he has collected so much money.”
This has angered the traders who are insisting that they cannot pay any tax or levy, since they cannot pay double taxations.
He allegedly collects N1, 500 per shop which covers 2015 to 2018, they alleged.
They also alleged, “Unfortunately, there is no other market that pays the money in the state. The Commissioner directs the agents he uses to collect the money to bring the cash directly to him.”
The traders therefore asked the Governor to order for the immediate conduct of election at the Drug Market, Bridgehead, describing it “as morally unjust for a market leader to write to the Commissioner for an election and the next thing he hears is that a Caretaker Committee has been set up. The Commissioner should immediately reinstate the chairman to conduct election within two weeks.”
They also demanded that Chief Victor Nwawuzie should be returned with immediate effect as he did nothing wrong, only that did not allow the commissioner to collecting illegal levies by arresting and arraigning a woman who was collecting money for the Commissioner in the market.