- Onitsha Main Market Protest Sponsored By Those Sabotaging Anambra Gov’t Revenue…Ezebunanwa
Chief Robinson Ezebunanwa, Chairman of Caretaker Committee in charge of Zone 3, Main market, Onitsha has described the protest against him as a stage-managed job by those who have been feeding fat on revenue due to the state government.
Ezebunanwa who spoke to journalists on Wednesday said the government appointed caretaker committee under his leadership had conducted affairs of the market with utmost probity and had helped the government raise revenue from tje market more than ever in history..
Recall that some people under the aegis of Zone 3 Stakeholders staged a protest, asking the state government not to renew his appointment.
The stakeholders alleged that Ezebunanwa was ‘not carrying’ them along in the administration of the market.
But Ezebunanwa said those behind the protest were not comfortable that he had exposed the corrupt activities in the market which had made some of them very rich and left the state government short changed over the years.
He said the fact that nobody accused him of embezzlement spoke to the fact that he was being witch-hunted by those who felt that somebody from the Ihiala area should not come close to the administration of the market.
Ezebunanwa said he has been able to ensure that all revenue collected from the market was remitted to the government as a way of strengthening the revenue of the state and also ensure that rent seekers were dislodged.
“In the course of my short reign as chairman of Zone 3, my team have been able to generate huge revenue for government without increasing levy on traders, we have been able to expose the corruption going on here where government money is diverted into private pockets of the so called stakeholders
“It is after we exposed the corruption in the market to the government that they started these problems, claiming that we came to destroy the system with which they used to make money. .
“The stakeholders who are very few but influential in the market said that I am from Ihiala Local Government Area and not from the area that has been dominating the system, so I can’t come in.
“These are the people sponsoring protests against me and my team, they want to blackmail the government into removing me so that they or their stooges can come back and resume their business as usual.
“If you go to the Ministry of Commerce, the record is there, you will see the difference between what they were remitting and what we are remitting, we are determined to help the government succeed,” he said.
Ezebunanwa said some people who purportedly signed the petition including a woman had reached out to him to disclaim the petition and apologise to him because they were not consulted.
He said himself, and chairman of zone 1 and two had worked tirelessly to protect both their members and the government, noting that sponsoring the protest were selfish and anti-progress.
“When some of them who signed heard that I wanted to remit the entire money collected on storage, they came to me to tell me that was not the tradition, that stakeholders have their share before paying to the government.
“But I told them that the union has an agreed percentage and that is what belongs to us, that was how the fight started.
“Again, these people are not with the government, they don’t support APGA, so they are doing everything to frustrate the system.
“I want to thank Gov. Chukwuma Soludo for his understanding, I want to assure him that like we have been doing, we are ever ready to work with him and help him succeed,” he said.