Over one thousand market women from Nnewi main market under the umbrella of Agboedo United Market Association yesterday locked down the industrial town during a peaceful protest.
The spokesperson for the protesting women, Mrs Martha Mbonu alleged that women in Agboedo market have suffered all manner of extortive tendencies of the chairman of the market, Mr Christopher Osuojukwu.
She noted that the women traders decided to take to the street because the chairman has come up with the idea that every poor trader in Agboedo market would buy an identity card at the cost of five hundred Naira.
Mrs Mbonu pointed out that many women in the section of the market are petty traders who are only dealing on pepper, tomatoes, okra and other vegetables whose investment are not up to two thousand Naira.
“We have attempted to make Osuojukwu see reason but he has remained adamant on making us buy his identity card when many of us already have National ID card and Permanent Voters Card(PVC). If you multiply our number with five hundred Naira, you will begin to appreciate how much our chairman wants to reap from us” She reasoned.
The women alleged that the chairman is coming up with the idea of ID card to disenfranchise many poor women in the next election as it is a common knowledge that the petty traders will not give him their mandate again.
“It is his constitutional right to seek re-election but it is our duty to vote him out, that is why we are not going to allow him stop us with novel and unacceptable identity card issue. The suffering he has subjected us to in his first tenure is enough.” Mrs Mbonu declared.
The women traders who took their protest to the palace of the Nnewi traditional ruler, Igwe KON Orizu 111, the Nnewi North local government secretariat and major streets of the industrial town urged the Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano to step into the matter.
Reacting to the allegations chairman of Agboedo United Market Association, Mr Christopher Osuojukwu said the protesting women are not his members and that the identity card is even optional for shop owners. He claimed that the women who are simply attaching themselves to recognized and registered shop owners are only being used by those he defeated in an election in which he emerged the chairman