Traders in Anambra State markets have cried out over the ban on prayers in markets following the sit-at-home order of Simon Ekpa, a lawyer based in Finland.
They have thus sought for a meeting with Governor Charles Soludo, but this has not been forthcoming despite efforts made.
According to information to The Eagle Online, while the prayers in the markets have been held for several years on Friday, the State Government now wants it to be held on Mondays in order to counter the sit-at-home order by Ekpa.
The sit-at-home order on Mondays was initially declared by the Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
However, despite lifting the sit-at-home order, Ekpa has insisted it must continue.
Markets that have been observing prayers on Fridays, the Eagle Online was told, include Head bridge, Ogboefere, Electrical, Building, Relief Market, Electronics, Oshanja and Main Market.
A letter dated August 10, 2023 by the President General of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, Chief Humphrey Anuma, and Secretary General, Ekwe Macaulay, confirmed the development.
The letter, titled: “Notice of dissolution of the prayer unit/group in your market,” and addressed to the Chairman of Mgbuka Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area, said: “With utmost respect to your person/ persons, ASMATA has officially dissolved the prayer unit/group in your market with immediate effect.
“Reasons for this is the inability of your prayer group to comply with state government/ASMATA directives in conducting or prayers on Mondays in your market.
“Further information will be communicated to you in due course.
“Accept our highest regards.”
In another letter dated August 17, 2023 signed by the Secretary of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee of ASMATA, Sir Peter Okala, further confirmed the directive for the dissolution of the Payer Management Committees in all the markets in the state.
The letter, which was copied to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade, Markets and Parks, with the title: “ASMATA DIRECTIVE FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF ALL THE PRAYER MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES IN ALL THE MARKETS IN ANAMBRA STATE,” said: “Following the numerous complaints of high-handedness, disobedience to constituted authorities and gross misconduct by the prayer management committee in your market association.
“I wish to convey the directive of the executives of Anambra state markets amalgamated traders association (ASMATA) for the dissolution of all prayer management committees in all the markets in Anambra state and appointment of new care-taker committees.
“You are further directed to forward the list of the newly appointed prayer management care-taker committee members to the office of the president general of (ASMATA) for proper documentation and approval within fourteen days (14 days) of the letter.
“Do accept the assurance of my highest regards.”
Following these developments, the market leaders have been trying to reach Governor Soludo.
- Ghana to lose $3.8b World Bank funding if anti-LGBTQ+ bill is signed into law
- Court jails seven internet fraudsters in Ogun, Oyo
- Police ban use of PoS, e-payment devices in its stations
- Wigwe: Sanwo-Olu, others pay tribute as Dangote weeps + Video
- Seun Oloketuyi earns Ekiti Future Agenda award
Their attempts have been largely through Rt. Rev. Bishop Ephraim Ikeakor and Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha and Bishop of Amichi Diocese.
However, this has not yielded the desired result.
Two letters have also been sent to the Governor without responses.
A protest planned for last week by the traders was eventually shelved in order to give more room to reach Soludo.