Widows, others protest merger of Ajasa street market in Onitsha


Our correspondent

No fewer than 2,000 traders, mostly widows, from Ajasa Street Market Traders, weekend, took to the major roads in Onitsha, Anambra State, protesting alleged heavy shootings by the local vigilante group attached to a neighboring market, Oseokwodu market, in a bid to forcefully merge them with Oseokwodu market.


The protesting traders, led by their leader, Mrs Ngozi Ezediniru, (a.k.a. Madam Black) their chairman, Chief Chima Ohia, and secretary, Emeka Mba, said that Ajasa Street market had been in existence time immemorial.

They wondered why the chairman of Oseokwodu market, Chief Ikechukwu Umeanozie (a.k.a. Chan Chanji), would just wake up and use his security men to forcefully merge them without their consent when they are independent registered Street market.

Some of the protesting traders carried placards with inscriptions showing their anger.

Speaking, the woman leader said that they were surprised when in the afternoon of Saturday, some armed men attached to the Oseokwodu market, stormed their market and started shooting indiscriminately which resulted in scampering for safety.


“We are independent street traders and we close between 9pm to 10pm daily and open about 6.30am daily. This is a residential market that is completely out side Oseokwodu market. Because we don’t have who will talk on our behalf he came with this intimidation”, the woman leader stated.


Also reacting during the protest, the chairman of the street traders, Chief Chima Ohia, said that the aim was to intimidate them and merge Ajasa Street market with Oseokwodu market for the chairman to make more personal money.


“We can’t be intimidated by the antics of this chairman who is desperate to make quick money before leaving office as interim chairman of Oseokwodu markek.


“The Commissioner for Commmerce and Industry, Hon. Obinna Ngonadi, is a no nonsense man, he will call Umeanozie to order before he kills us with guns, like he did this afternoon”, he said.


In a swift reaction when contacted on phone, the Oseokwodu chairman, Chief Ikechukwu Umeanozie, said that he was a one time chairman of the Ajasa Street market.


“It is Oseokwodu market vigilante group that guards Ajasa street market and it is under zone one of Oseokwodu market”, Umeanozie stated.


Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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