The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), has condemned in an unmistakable terms the planned election of new executives of Onitsha Drug Market at Bridgehead.
The chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, in a statement made available to newsmen in Awka on Monday, said they unequivocally condemn the plot by some Bridgehead leaders, some government officials and some criminal elements in the market to conduct election to install their anointed Son.
The group said these were the elements who were bent on installing one of their own from Omambala area of Anambra State in flagrant disregard to the constitution of the market.
The rights group warned that any effort to impose an unpopular candidate on the traders would be highly resisted, saying that all the Government officials and interested groups should desist from acts capable of creating tension which may plunge the market into crisis.
They said the previous elections in Ogbogwu was conducted based on option A4 in which financial up to date members were allowed to vote through the chairman and line secretary of each line who presented register of their members.
“But this time they want to adopt strange and curious method of voting by selecting some people who are their loyalists to participate in the election.
We are insisting on that previous method, which is the constitutional provision.
The Line chairmen and secretaries protested and insisted that they were not carried along because they have a calculated plan to install a particular candidate from Omambala “alleged the group.
They continued ” we want to warn that Onitsha Drug Market should not be plunged into crisis because of selfish interest of some suspicious elements, Ogbogwu traders deserve respect and nobody should take them for a ride.
The sacredness and tenets of democracy must be maintained to allow people make their choice”.
HURIDE called for the immediate disbandment of the current Electoral Committee, since they are riddled with corruption allegations of extorting a whopping sum of N250. 000, N200.000, and N150.000 each for the position of chairman, Secretary and Vice 1 and 2 respectively among other commercialized contesting positions.
The State Government, said the group, should constitute another credible and unbiased Electoral Committee which will set up a time table and create a level playing ground for all the contestants and also choosing Onitsha Fegge Stadium for the election.