TENSION IN ENUGU CATTLE MARKET AS GOVT REINSTATES DEPOSED CHAIRMAN
Cattle dealers at the New Garki, Enugu, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest to show disagreement with the decision of the state government to reinstate deposed Alhaji Baba Ali as the chairman of the Cattle Market and Cattle Dealers Association, Akebugwu, Enugu South Local Government.
The traders who carried placards condemned the action of the government and rejected the return of the deposed chairman calling for election as the only way out of the current crisis in the market.
They called for a change insisting that after 35 years as Chairman, Alhaji Baba Ali had not been accountable and had been running the market as his personal property.
He was alleged to have colonised shops in a newly acquired site, an action that sparked off the latest crisis and emergence of a parallel govt.
The state Commissioner for Human Resources and Poverty Alleviation, Godwin Oguenyi, who performed the re-installation ceremony dismissed the demonstrators as enemies of peace in the market.
He noted that in any part of the world there would always be opposition, arguing that, 'if there is no opposition life itself will not be interesting. Parts of what you are seeing are those disgruntled persons who have been causing the faction here; we don't expect them to be happy that peace is being restored.'
On the call for election, he said, 'there is a tenure that has not expired; they elect people when tenures expire that's why we are restoring him because he was dethroned prematurely and before his tenure expired. When his tenure finishes elections will hold and whoever wins will continue from where he has stopped.'
However, the interim Chairman, Mallam Lawan Abubakar who was appointed by the local government authority to run the affairs of the market until elections were held expressed surprise with the recognition of the deposed chairman.
He disclosed that elections had already been scheduled to hold on February 25th; 'but early this morning I got this letter that the deposed chairman will be reinstated and inaugurated today.'
He urged the government to listen to the complaints of the other group in taking a stand on the matter so as to guarantee lasting peace in the market.