By Ifeanyichukwu Aloysius
The prolonged leadership crisis rocking Okija market popularly known as Nkwo Okija has continued to thwart moves to enforce the traders and customers to comply to Covid19 preventive measures.
The chairman caretaker committee of the market Mr Okwudili Onukerobi who spoke to the press on ugly the development said their efforts to encourage traders and customers to practice the necessary Covid19 protocols like wearing of face masks, keeping of buckets of water and other things to contain the spread of Covid19, were being sabotaged by Kenneth Nnubia led group who are claiming to be a duely elected leadership managing the market.
The chairman disclosed that his committee was instituted early February this year by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce under Hon Uchenna Okafor as the commissioner, to oversee the activities of the market and maintain peace there until the stage is set for a fresh election.
He told the press that the committee could not work because Nnubia’s group took them to court, revealing that it was 30th June 2020 that the order restraining the caretaker committee from entering the market was vacated at Chief Magistrate Court of Ihiala magisterial district, explaining that the leadership crisis is largely responsible for the in ability of the committee to ensure Covid19 protocols at the market.
When Mr Kenneth Nnubia was contacted on the issue, he admitted charging the caretaker committee to court on the ground he was duely elected with his executive members in November last year to serve for a term of four years but shortly after the election, a committee was imposed on them and they decided to seek for a redress at the court, adding that a delegation from Ihiala local government with security agencies supervised the said election. He wondered why the election was not recognized at the end of the day, stating it was free and fair.
Nnubia further accused the traditional ruler of the community His Royal Majesty Igwe Emeka N. Okezie ( Oka ije Okija ) of masterminding the creation of the caretaker committee as ploy to take over the administration of the market, claiming that his executive could no longer work since then because of the issue in the court.
Meanwhile Igwe Okezie who spoke to the press through his palace secretary exornorated himself and dismissed the accusations as mere lies fabricated to tarnish his image, stating that he has no hand in the caretaker committee instituted by the state government through the ministry of Trade and Commerce, adding that he was not even part of the case in the court.
“I only learnt that the purported election was a cangarole one which made the concern traders to invite the ministry of Trader and Commerce to come to their rescue since Kenneth Nnubia was parading himself as the chairman of the market and lording himself over the traders . The ministry responded by forming the current caretaker committee and a letter was sent to me by the ministry informing me of the new development. I also learnt that same Nnubia has been challenging a legal care taker committee instituted by the government and that much l knew.
As at the press time, traders and their customers go on their business without practicing the Covid19 preventive measures as many were seen moving freely inside the market without face masks.