Anambra market chairman denies collecting dummy levy...accuses opposition of blackmail

Anambra market chairman denies collecting dummy levy...accuses opposition of blackmail

Anambra market chairman denies collecting dummy levy...accuses opposition of blackmail

By Calis Mbadugha, Onitsha

The chairman of Haruna market, near Onitsha Main Market, Anambra State, , Hon Emmanuel Idoko, weekend denied collecting dummy levies from traders and accused the opposition of blackmailing him sequel to the good work he has been doing in the market.

Fielding  questions from newsmen he reiterated that it was a trader in the market who deals in the  business of hiring dummies that collects levy from those he gave out his dummies on hire purchase basis that did the collection lamenting that as chairman whatever that happens in  the market he is held responsible.

His words, "What happens is that in this Haruna market there is somebody with trade name, 'Obiora,' he has up to 3000 dummies for hiring. Some of these people that hire the dummies from him put on their wares especially clothes on the dummies and stand along the road to sell their wares.

"Those dummies hired all have the trade name of 'Obiora' inscribed on them, to show he is the owner and that it is genuine business. The dummy dealer told me he was the one collecting dummy levies from those he gave out the dummies to, on a day I wanted to know the owner of these dummies scattered all over the market.

"He told me that his problem was that some of these people that hire dummies from him do not return them, so he has men who go around for the collection of the dummy levies. Normally, during Christmas season like now everybody likes to come out on the road and this road is blocked because the road construction by the state government is still on going.

" Consequently, my assurance on security is that my men are on the road on monitoring and anybody caught in terms of stealing/robbery/pick pockets are being handed over to Anti Tout Squad, recently inaugurated by the state government for necessary action. Sometimes if we arrest those criminals we take them round the market, flog and leave them to go," he stated.

He pleaded to the traders to see the rumour making the round even on radio program that he collects dummy levies as cheap blackmail by the enemies of progress  that search for negative aspect of good work.

In a swift reaction when contacted, the dummy dealer, Mr. Ezechukwu Obiora, who also sells clothes in the market,, exonerated the chairman from the accusations adding that he is the one that collects dummy levies and not the chairman and that such collection is a genuine business deal between him and those he hired out his dummies to. 

 According to him, "I have about 3000 dummies, before this Christmas season they pay #100 a day for hiring but now it is #300 and above, depending on the type of dummy,  some after the day's business would tell you that they didn't sell anything that day, and I don't task them to pay what we agreed.

"Some hire without payment, so I have to go round with my boys and collect the money during the day when they might have made sales, I don't have issues with anybody. Those that accused the chairman of collecting the levies are not on ground to know who collects the levies. I do the collection, it doesn't concern the chairman and I do it legally, I don't hide in doing it. I have packing stores for the dummies," he stated.

Contacted, a trader who simply identified himself as John and uses dummies to sell his clothes told newsmen that, "We sell clothes but we hire dummy to support our goods, we pay to the owner, Obiora, #300 or #500 each day, it doesn't concern the Haruna chairman."

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