As the 2023 presidential election moves closer, several allegations have been leveled against presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
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One of such allegation is that during his time as the governor of Anambra state, non-Igbos were not allowed to own stores in Anambra markets
Femi Fani-Kayode, APC chieftain made the claim during his speech on TVC.
Kayode was quoted to have said:
“In Anambra state when he (Obi) was governor, no non-Igbo man could own a store in any of the markets there.”
Meanwhile, findings by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) revealed that the claim is false.
The advocacy group said checks revealed that non-Igbos owned stores in Anambra markets even during the administration of Peter Obi as governor of the state.
The findings read:
Residents told CDD West Africa that there was no policy barring non-Igbos from owning stores in Markets during Obi’s tenure as governor of the state.
Chika Mbonu, one of the residents, explained that there were areas predominantly populated by non-Igbos, including Hausa and Yoruba.
She, however, added that non-indigenes were not allowed to be in charge of the markets.
The positions of the chairman of main market associations were occupied by indigenes only.
There were media reports to this effect, and they show that this culture continued in the state up until 2021.
In December 2021, non-indigene traders lamented their disqualification from occupying the chairmanship position across public markets in the state .
The traders under the aegis of the Non-Indigenous Free Minds Welfare Association claimed they were banned from heading the markets.
The chairman of the Association, Ezebusi Ezebuwa said the policy had been existing for years.
“It is not good for only one side to be controlling markets which were jo intly built by all of us. Many of us have shops, we are traders in the markets, we also own properties in the markets,” he said.
“We cannot deny the facts that the indigenes are the owners of their state, but if one side continues to produce chairman in the Markets, others would definitely feel cheated,” Ezebuwa was quoted as saying.
The president general of 5 Alive non-indigenes traders at Mgbuka Amazu, Okpoko in Ogbaru LGA of the State, Ifeanyichukwu Anthony Igwe, stated that the ban was against the constitution of the markets.
Don Adinuba, the commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment at the time, said that the state government could not indulge in any discriminatory policy.
Another resident, who simply identified himself as Dr. Ogochukwu, in a telephone conversation described the claim that non-Igbos could not own stores as a “blatant lie”.