Traders in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state, have said their support for the People Democratic Party, PDP, and its gubernatorial flagbearer Prof Uche Ikonne, in the 2023 General Election is premised on their conviction that their interests would be better served and protected under a PDP led Abia state.
Early last month, the leadership of the Aba traders, in conjunction with their counterparts from other parts of Abia state, had paid a solidarity visit to the PDP gubernatorial hopeful at his residence in Umuahia, where they declared their readiness to support his ambition of succeeding incumbent Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Rationalising their decision to queue behind the immediate past Vice Chancellor of Abia state university, Elder Emeka Igara, the Chairman of Ariaria market, arguably the biggest market in the state, in an exclusive interview with Newscritic online said the traders are convinced that their fortune would be promoted better by Ikonne, having closely worked with and followed the government of Ikpeazu in the last seven years, under which all the Markets in Aba have received and continue to receive tremendous face lift.
“As you are aware, the present government worried about the dilapidated infrastructural facilities at the Markets in Aba has commenced their remodelling and reconstruction to bring them to global standards. We the traders, believe that it will be better to align with the present structure for the purpose of continuity. We don’t know what may become the fate of the several thousands of traders and shops owners, whose shops are currently under reconstruction at the hands of an entirely new political system.
“So, we want continuity in the system as that would guarantee our investments at the Markets. The level the various reconstruction efforts at all the Markets are now does not support any form of experimentation,” Igara stated.
According to Elder Igara, the traders believe that going by the trajectory of Ikonne, he has the capacity to not only transform the Markets, but also take Abia state to the next level, adding that from their interactions with him, he has proven to be traders friendly.”
To give fillip to their support, he stated that the leadership of the markets had mobilised the traders to go and obtain their Permanent Voters Cards PVCs.
Meanwhile, Hon Frank Moses, one of the prominent traders whose shops were affected by the demolition exercise that preceded the reconstruction efforts at the Ariaria market last year, has appealed to his colleagues to exercise patience, noting that the level of work being done is far greater than what everyone, including the government had initially envisaged.
For one, the visit by the Abia Markets leadership to the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer had drawn flakes from not a few who have come to see the solidarity visit as totally misplaced, in the face of government failure to leave up to its promise of completing the reconstruction efforts, and handing over the shops to their owners on before January this year. The demolition exercise affected no fewer than 20,000 traders drawn from lines A, B and Medicine who since September last year have had their business activities severely affected.
But Hon. Moses who is also the immediate past Vice Chairman of the market, while speaking with NewsCritic online blamed the inability of the reconstruction to be completed on schedule on the level of job involved.”