Raphael Ede, Enugu
Residents of Enugu State on Sunday condemned the close down of the popular Akwatta market where tomatoes, oil, yam among other food items were being sold over alleged booing of the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Friday.
The governor was said to have visited the major market in the state, ‘Ogbete Main Market’ to observe the level of compliance to the directives that all the markets in the state with exemption of food markets should be closed down to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
But when he got to the market, those selling wears were said to have taken over the food section of the market and they were allegedly ordered by the governor to vacate the market as they were not exempted to trade.
The governor’s directive was said to have enraged the traders who booed the governor while calling him names.
But some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent on Sunday described the total close down on account of the incident as inhumane and showed the governor’s intolerance to dissenting voices.
But the state government has denied all the accusations.
The Chairman of Enugu North Local Government Area, Emeka Onunze, in a statement he personally signed said the allegations were “false, misleading, baseless, mischievous and a failed calculated attempt to undermine our genuine efforts to upgrade the environmental condition of the market for the health and wellbeing of our people”.
Onunze said, “We have temporarily relocated the traders of the Tomato market in Akwatta to Garki Market, Enugu, to enable the council rebuild the section of the Ogbete Main Market to standard before they return to the market to continue their business transactions.