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Ochanja Market: The Sufferings, The Politics and The Way Forward.

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By Damian Windeck Okoye

Ochanja Market in Onitsha Anambra State is currently in a deep mess. Failed Drainage systems have cost the traders a lot,  because the buyers can no longer access their shops because of excessive flooding. Who do we blame? The Government that imposes huge tax on the shop owners or the trade union whose utmost concern is to play politics targeted at milking the revenues generated from the market? What about the traders themselves? They block their flood channels with all kinds of refuses and they are now paying for their carelessness. 

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Across all sections of the market, it has been from one pool of dirt and flood to the other. There is no easy movement. Not for human beings, not for vehicles, not for flood, not for refuses. The Market is in a deep mess presently and nobody seems to be doing anything. The Government of Anambra State has failed woefully in this regard. Sometimes, you look at Gov Obiano’s Administration and you wonder why there is so much recklessness, how would a functional government allow one of its major source of revenue go down this way? This market generates enough money for the Government to fix the drainages but the Commissioner at the state’s ministry of trade and commerce would look the other way. The politics in Anambra Markets is something else. 

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Just like the Government, the traders union is only interested in extorting the traders but not the welfare of the market. As a customer, whenever you buy goods from the market, watch out, some group of non friendly youths will approach and begin to extort you. You call them “agbero”, but they operate upon the instructions of the leaders of the market. That explains why it has always been a sad tale whenever the market wants to go into an election.  Everybody wants to be part of the evil which is now taking its toll in the markets. 

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The traders in the market are also major contributors. The refuses you see here, they did not come from Asaba or any other part of the onitsha. They were generated inside the market, they just do not like to dispose theirs wastes properly. Most times, they turn the gutters into refuse bins, making it difficult for flood to move freely. A coordinated effort by the Government, the Trade Union, and the Traders themselves will help eradicate this menace. I wish this happens one day. 


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Source: opera.com
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