Enugu: Outrage over Ogbete market election as contestants allege foul play

Enugu: Outrage over Ogbete market election as contestants allege foul play

Enugu: Outrage over Ogbete market election as contestants allege foul play

A major leadership crisis is brewing at Ogbete Main Market, the largest market in Enugu metropolis over a recent election organised for the market by Enugu North Local Government Council.

Some of the aggrieved aspirants and market leaders said that the election which was held on February 3, fell short of the constitution guiding the market.

According to them, the local government Chairman, Emeka Onunze had entered the market around 5:30pm on February 2 to announce that Ogbete General  Election would be held the next day by 6:am, the same day INEC had fixed by-elections in some parts of the state, including some parts of Enugu metropolis.

They alleged that there was a plot to disenfranchise voters and ambush contestants to ensure that a particular candidate was imposed on the market.

“At the time of the announcement, many people had traveled to their homes in preparation for the by-election within their local government councils. It is important to point out that by-elections were conducted in Enugu South, Igbo-Eze North, and Udenu local government Areas. 

“The people whom Onunze met remonstrated on the ground that it was not ideal to organize the election being that the people who have traveled are both voters and contestants alike, he was further told that there were restricted movements in their areas and they can’t come back to Enugu to vote or participate in the Election. 

“The chairman who claims that nothing will happen when he takes any decision went ahead with the election, making a mockery of Barr Peter Mbah’s administration with the mindset to return the incumbent caretaker Mr Stephen Aniagu, and impose him on the people”, one of the market leaders told newsmen. 

They pointed out that Stephen Aniagu, who had led the market in caretaker capacity during the administration of former Governor Ugwuanyi, did not resign as stipulated by the constitution before throwing in the hat for the February 3 contest.

One of the chairmanship candidates, Oliver Ezemba who had travelled to participate in the Udenu/Igbo-Eze North Federal  constituency election narrated how he made several efforts to reach the Chairman but to no avail.

“There was no provision for screening. How did you know those who are qualified to contest? People spent their hard earned money to buy forms but were not even given an opportunity to contest. I am calling on our Governor to intervene and stop this anomaly. 

“The chairman is trying to build a bad image for this government. Our governor should not allow that. Let there be a free and fair election according to the constitution of the market. That is what I and other aspirants are demanding,” he said.

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