From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
For allegedly sacking touts from Anambra markets, roads, and parks and refusing to dance to the tune of corrupt association leaders, Governor Charles Soludo is said to be under pressure to sack his Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon Obinna Ngonadi.
An Onitsha based Industrialist, Chief Mike Emerah, and traders at New Auto Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area, in a statement, advised the Governor not to listen to those described as petition mongers just as he encouraged the commissioner to continue to remain focused in his duties.
Exonerating the commissioner from sharp practices, and commending Soludo for sacking touts, Chief Emerah noted that the commissioner was not the type that could easily be enticed with money or any other gift to tarnish his image to the detriment of the people of the State.
“This administration sacked touts on the road, parks and markets and everybody is happy. As far as I know, this commissioner is not one of those you can easily entice with money or any gift item. So when you try to do the right thing this type of attack is what you will get in return for refusing to abide by the business-as-usual tradition.
“He should be strong because more of such bullets are coming as they will continue because it is from there that these attackers eke their living.
“Most of them are defeated candidates in both New Auto Spare Parts and other markets, and the offence of the commissioner is that he stopped the continuation of construction of illegal structures, overstay in office, flawed election, wrong shops enumeration, among others, as he insisted that due process must be followed, ” Emerah said.
Chief Emerah who is also the chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the market, said that no amount of blackmail would deter the duo of Governor Soludo and Commissioner Ngonadi, from taking traders and the people of the State to the next level.
In his swift reaction, the chairman of New Auto Spare Parts market, Chief Elysius Ozorkwere, described the allegation against the commissioner as frivolous and a figment of the imagination of defeated candidates and saboteurs who orchestrated such allegation to attract sympathy.
Recalling that even in his market where construction of more shops is ongoing with the approval of the State government, he said those allegedly defeated severally still went to court and were defeated and also not satisfied, petitioned government that gave the approval, to frustrate the construction but the court and Government ordered that work on the project had to continue.
“We have approval from Anambra State Physical Planning Board and a solid recommendation from the Commerce and Industry Ministry, even before the new commissioner came on board and merely authenticated the approval after perusal. The project is thirty per cent constructed and we hope to get it completed in record time.
“We assured the genuine traders that their shops are intact and those members without shops will have one, despite the antics of the opposition
What the traders should do is to disregard the few that failed election and listen to the executive that is interested in their welfare, ” Ozorkwere said.
Secretary to the market association, Uchenna Malobi, said that the documents were there for all to see and know that the project has the backing of the state government, duly approved by the State Physical Planning Board and endorsed also by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.