By Phil Okose Onitsha
New executives of the Nkpor New Auto Spareparts market, Idemili North
Local Government Area, Anambra state, have finally been elected to
pilot the affairs of the market for the next four years after the
earlier disruption of the conduct of the election within the market
premises by over 300 thugs in ASMATA apron, with the inscription,
The refusal of the traders that the suspected thugs would not be
allowed into the voting arena since they were in large number and may
possibly be working for an unpopular candidate, forced the Anambra
State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, President,
Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, to canceal the conduct of the election.
On being briefed on how the thugs disrupted the election, the State
Commissioner for Commerce, Markets, Trade and Wealth Creation, Hon.
Uchenna Okafor, (a.k.a.Wipper) ordered for a fresh election to be held
on 6th February 2020, in a more secured venue, Bethany House, adjacent
to Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, and warned miscreants and
trouble makers including traders not eligible to vote to steer clear
of the venue in their own interest.
He told them that security would be beefed up and that all electoral
conducts/processes would be left in the hands of the electoral
committee and not the ASMATA or state government as both would be
observers and only play advisory role where necessary.
As early as 8.00am on the fateful day, 6th February, the traders
stormed the venue amidst water-tight security and accreditation of
eligible voters commenced and ended at about 3.30pm.
The Chairman of the electoral Committee, Chief Ifeanyi Mbakwe, then
announced that option A4 would be used and that traders should comport
themselves for the peaceful conduct of the election.
The two chairmanship candidates, Chief Elisius Umeozorkwere, who was
the immediate past chairman and seeking return to office and Chief
Obiorah Ofole, (a.k.a. Award) were asked to come out so that their
voters would queue up behind them.
As the duo came out, majority of the voters immeately rushed and
queued up behind Chief Umeozorkwere, and on seeing that Umeozorkwere
has carried the day even before the vote count proper, his rival,
Chief Obiorah Ofole, came up with a flimsy escuse that some of his
voters at the gate were not allowed to come in by security men but the
ASMATA President, Chief Ekwegbalu, disagreed with him saying that, “it
is not true that his voters at the gate were not allowed in, every
eligible voter was allowed in and if there are those still at the
gate, they should be for both chairmanship contestants”.
As the counting was going on, Chief Ofole wanted to disrupt the
counting but the security men stopped him and Chief Umeozorkwere had a
landslide victory, scoring 397 votes against his rival, Chief Ofole,
who left a handful of his voters who were waitng for him to come and
stand for them to queue up behind him, in despair.
Others elected included, Mr. Ikechukwu Onyekwu – Vice Chairman, Mr. Uchenna Malobi-Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Okeke – assistant secretary, Mr. Alex Orji – financial secretary, Mr. Ignatius Ejike–treasurer, Mr. Chukwujekwu Nwankwo–Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ikegbunam Ikechukwu – Welfare Office, Mr. Okechukwu Onwudiwe–Circle
bearer and Mr. Chibuzo Okeke–Provost.
Speaking shortly after the election, the “ASMATA” President, Chief
Ekwegbalu, expressed his delight over the peaceful conduct of the
election and commended the winners and conportment of the traders
during the election.
According to him, “I have been here since morning watching the
election, the whole thing went well, I hereby use my position as the
ASMATA President to declare that the election is free and fair and
that Chief Umeozorkwere emerged the winner, having scored the highest
numver of votes”.
“I congratulate the electoral committee, for the success of the
election and those who emerged victorious”.
Also the Anambra State Director of markets. Mrs. Ebo Nwosu, while
expressing satisfaction stated that she was impressed on the conduct of the election, noting that the election was free and fair.
In his post election speech, the newly elected Chairman, Chief
Umeozorkwere, pledged to perform better than he did previously and
commended Governor Willie Obiano and the Commissioner, Hon. Okafor,
for the peaceful conduct of the election, pledging
For a better society