Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has this week, suspended the Temple Ude executive in the midst of a looming crisis in Ogbete Market.
Temple Ude was the President of Ogbete Main Market Traders Association, (OMMTA), in Enugu and had served the association since 2010, having seen himself at the helm of affairs for two straight tenures.
The governor dissolved all the leadership of the association barely few months to the culmination of Temple’s tenure while a new election comes up early next year. A statement by the governor had it that it was expedient to put all the warring parties aside and a new process be installed to ensure that there is peace in Ogbete market.
The governor has set up an 8-man Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of OMMTA until a new election is done. A source disclosed that the action is to avert violence in Ogbete main market, which is located at the heart of Enugu.
The source said that any violence in Ogbete is likely to escalate and spread to other parts of the State since the heads of the crisis- Temple Ude and Oliver Ezemba, a co-opted member of his executive whom he said had been trying everything possible to use undemocratic means to succeed him as President of the association, are from different parts of the State and any lingering crisis could disrupt the peace of the State.
The Chairman of Enugu North Local Government, Hon. John Okechukwu Eze has been appointed as Caretaker Chairman of OMMTA. In the 8-man committee, the Secretary-General is still undergoing scrutiny and would be revealed by the leadership of the local government.
Others include Chief Obute, Esther Ede, Ngozi Anyigbo, Mr. Eke Dede Emmanuel, one representative from the police and another one from the DSS.
On his part, Hon Eze said, “Why not? It is necessary to marry the two entities together because they are located in the same place. Enugu North is the landlord of Ogbete and Ogbete is like the tenant, so we are combining the landlord and the tenant together because having the two in one body is the best way to bring peace and a cordial relationship between the traders and the local government personnel.”
“There had been a series of crisis in Ogbete for 6 to 12 months now so the governor made the decision to shift the parties that have been causing trouble in Ogbete aside for peace to reign. The peace-loving governor decided that it was time for the market to enjoy peace, lasting peace so he inaugurated the 8-man committee to oversee the affairs of the association till there is an election where neutral people would take over power,” he said.
Eze charged the traders to support his interim government and that those with lofty contributions and visions on how the market could be run should write to him, adding that he would consider all efforts.
The local government boss emphasized that he would create an avenue for the safety of the finances of traders, ensure he works with the governor who has promised to make Ogbete market one of the best markets in West Africa and to run an online marketing platform similar to what is obtainable in developed countries.
“Like what is obtainable in developed countries, I intend to run an online platform for all traders in the market. By so doing, any information you want, it would be easy to get it from there. It would also help to know the traders; those that are coming in newly, and those that are leaving so that if they are no longer there, you would know.”
“The kind of business they are doing, you would know, and most especially, their finances; what is coming in, how it is coming in, where are they spending it, what are they spending it on, and so on. So when you do that kind of a thing, the traders would like you. We also want the traders and the local government to have a cordial relationship, it is very paramount. By so doing, there would be peace; you would have peace in the market, peace in the local government and peace in the state,” he said.
The Chairman also used the opportunity to capitulate on his achievements barely three weeks since assuming office. He explained that there had been tremendous successes achieved by him which include cleaning up the secretariat, paying light bills, and embarking on brand new and innovative projects.
He said he would pay attention to the health and education sector to ensure that his people get the best. He stressed that Enugu North would wear a new look by December and called on the people to keep supporting the Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration as he is dedicated towards bringing smiles on the faces of the people of Enugu State.