By G9ija

There are speculations that crisis may erupt at the Onitsha Household Utensils Market located along Onitsha/Asaba Express Road following the alleged inability of the market stakeholders to conduct elections in the market.

Presently, the market is being led by a Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Okechukwu Aghanelo and the agitating traders are clamouring for an election that will usher in a democratically elected leader in the volatile market.

The traders who declined to disclose their identities for fear of victimisation told our correspondent in Onitsha yesterday that the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the market, Chief Okechukwu Aghanelo who was “imposed” on the market on appointment on May this year has been romancing with the Anambra State Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Wealth Creation, Chief Uchenna Okafor to extend his six months tenure and was even agitating to contest the market Chairmanship any time election is conducted in the market.

The group also accused the market Chairman, Chief Aghanelo of high-handedness in handling traders’ affairs.

However, it was gathered that the Anambra State Government through the Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Wealth Creation, Chief Uchenna Okafor decided to wage into the market leadership crisis as a result of the possible crisis that might degenerate and cause avoidable loss of lives and property.

The Commissioner in applying what was generally described as “a wise man’s decision” by traders of the market then inaugurated the present leadership in order to douse tension in the fragile market.

However, some traders in the market, Messrs Clement Usonwanne and Jude Ofodile had attributed the appointment of a Caretaker Committee for the utensils market as a result of elusive peace and tension that pervaded the entire market a few months ago.

The duo in their separate interviews with this reporter commended the State Government for her timely intervention to save the market and traders from undue hardship and bitter experience.

They, however, urged the State Government to consider an election in the market once the mandate of the present administration in the market elapses.

When our correspondent visited the market recently the market was relatively calm and peaceful as traders and customers moved about freely without any threat to peace nor businesses.

CCTV Camera was sighted in the market to assist in capturing sensitive development as it was said to have assisted in capturing burglars who burgled into traders’ shops and warehouses in the past.

A new car park was also sighted at the market entrance as traders now sit in their shops comfortably transacting their businesses without any fear.

The issue of touting which appeared worrisome to traders and their customers was said to have become a thing of the past in the household utensils market.

Considerably, having applauded the current peaceful situation in the market a great majority of the traders are clamouring for an election, stressing that the market was tired of the” imposition of leaders”.

All attempts made to speak with the Chairman of the market, Chief Aghanelo proved abortive as he was said to be out of the market at the time of the visit.