Cocoa cola market not for widows alone, says ODU PG

The President General of Ogbaru Development Union (ODU), Dr Sir Francis Oranweuba has said that Coco cola market in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State should not be seen as a market for the widows alone.

 He said that the question of widows as owners of Cocoa cola market did not represent the truth. He noted that there were many young men and women who were also traders there.

Dr Oranweuba who spoke with journalists at Okpoko in the Council Area said there were few widows who were not the major traders but just down line retailers in four markets at the Cocoa cola market.

“The owners of the goods that are the major traders bring goods from Kano, Kaduna, Plateau and Benue States and from all over Nigeria to the market. Then these few widows and others would help to do the last delivery as retailers.

“The question of widows being targeted should not arise because the population of the widows there was very few to compare with the entire market women, men and young ones that are in that market, “he said.

He alleged that those who claimed to be landlords, who hired the place were extorting heavily from those down line retailers and owners of goods sold in Cocoa cola market.

He also alleged that the State Government was losing millions of naira to people who hired the place.

In a swift reaction, the chairman of fruits and vegetables market, Ogbaru, Mr Charles Ezeonu narrated the traders’ ordeal in the hands of some acclaimed owners along Cocoa cola expressway and said that one of the so-called landlords was not the owner but hired the place from a construction company, then Ilodi company, Nsoffor and Ezeanwuna family.

“We have no other alternative than doing our business at that hired place which affords super and co power to be collecting heavy tolls from us, before the ejection order that made us to leave the area. Then we ran to Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha who pleaded with the then Governor, Mr Peter Obi to provide a permanent place for fruits and vegetables market.

According to him, the Governor brought the land for us and built the market as it happened towards the end of his tenure, while Governor Obiano Government tried but couldn’t do anything. In fact this has been going on with various administrations in the State.

“Before the State government ejected us, they gave us reasons for the ejection including incessant accidents along that expressway; heaps of refuse which constituted an eye sore to the Eastern gateway, leftover fruits and vegetables, urine and faeces that blocked the drainages were among the reasons for the ejection.

“Memorandum of understanding was duly signed with the State Government, Ogbaru Local Government Council and fruits and vegetables market union and Super and co later sued State government on the issue of relocation, “he explained.

He said that since then that anyone who wanted or spoke about relocating to the new site would be decisively dealt with by super men.

He expressed his support for Governor Charles Soludo’s administration which he said had alleviated them from the hands of their extortionists at the Cocoa cola market.

Some women among the traders in the market narrated their ordeal in the hands of Super boys who they accused of saying that anyone who complained or mentioned going to permanent site would be dealt with.

They commended Governor Soludo for coming to their rescue, adding that going to the permanent site would alleviate their plights.

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