By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—Anger from diverse sections of the society yesterday trailed the closure of all the markets in Anambra State by the state government for the kick off of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, 2019 campaign at Dr Alex Ekwueme Square.
From civil society groups, traders, politicians, artisans and other stakeholders in Anambra State, it was condemnation galore as they said the closure was ill-timed.
Anambra State chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme said: “The action is against the traders because this is a critical time when the traders are hurrying up to attend to their customers from all over the country in preparation to celebrate Christmas.
“Moreover, government can not force traders to close shops because it wants to flag off a campaign rally when there is freedom of association as not everybody belongs to APGA. How can government force traders to close markets against their wishes and desire?
“The state government must tender an unreserved apology to the traders who might have lost over N500 million today”.
In his reaction, a trader at the Bridge Head market and coordinator of ‘Naturecracy for Atiku/Peter Obi Support Movement’, NAPSUM, Chief Peter Okala said , “the APGA-led government of Governor Willie Obiano goofed by that singular act of shutting down the markets in the state.
“The traders belong to various political parties; you don’t close markets when you are just one of the political parties in the country. This is Christmas period when most traders are doing their last transactions for the year and you forced them to shut the entire markets because you are flagging off your party campaign rally that does not concern them but only your party members and supporters. That was wrong.”