By Nnaemeka Okoli
The N10 million Choose-your-Project initiative for all the 61 major markets in Anambra State that the Willie Obiano administration is currently implementing across the state has continued to draw applause from the traders, who are appreciative of this rare interventionist effort from the government.
For many traders at the Ose-Okwodu Market in Onitsha, Governor Obiano is simply God-sent. His N10 million project has given Ose-Okwuodu a befitting modern garage, something that had always presented a huge challenge to the traders. Speaking on the completion of the Ose-Okwuodu garage, the President of the South East Zone of the Amalgamated Market Traders Association (AMATAS), Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, described the initiative as “revolutionary.”
Said he: “What the governor is doing for traders in Anambra State has not been done before. We now have a chance to build any facility that we consider to be our priority that will not cost the government more than N10 million. There are 61 major markets in Anambra State and each market has been allocated N10 million. Considering the current recession in the country, it would be unfair not to clap for Governor Obiano. He is doing what other governors are not doing.”
In a further assessment of the rate of implementation of the initiative state-wide, Ezenwankwo said it was going smoothly, pointing out that markets that had not started their own were still sorting out some issues.
Corroborating Ezenwankwo’s views, one of the traders at Ose-Okwodu Market, Osita Agu, declared that the traders were in a happy mood. “This is the government’s most important work for us. This governor has done well. He will go back again for second term. He has no challenger. Traders will support him en masse.”
Another trader, Mrs. Jovita Amechi, lent her voice to the commendations for the governor. “Please, when you see him, tell him that we send our greetings to him. We are happy. He will win again and return to lead us. Nobody can challenge him. We`ll vote for him,” she assured.
The story is the same at Ochanja Market. Echoing the views of his colleagues at Ose-Okwodu Market, the Treasurer of Ochanja Market, Onitsha, Chief Samuel Idoko, gushed: “I am happy. We have not seen this type of thing before. Ochanja traders have, therefore, endorsed Governor Willie Obiano for a second term.” Speaking further, Idoko, who is also the supervisor of the project in Ochanja said, “you can see how happy everybody is.” Corroborating Idoko’s viewpoints, another trader, Mrs. Anthonia Egwuonwu, remarked; “The fact that Governor Obiano remembered us is enough. His administration is good. God will help him. He will get his second term. Since I have been in this Ochanja, I have never seen this type of thing before. I am happy; we are happy.”
Continuing the testimony from Ochanja Market, Kenneth Agbo reflected: “ For a governor to remember traders and do something that will benefit them, it shows he loves them. So, even if he does not do anything again, this one is enough. The work is solid but I appeal that this works should go round. Every part of Ochanja should be given the same treatment.”
Confirming the government’s seriousness over the projects, the contractor handling the Ochanja Market project, Engr. Gene Nnaemeka Ndubisi, said although it was not more than a week since the construction work started, he and his team had already completed 60 per cent of the job, assuring that they would complete the job ahead of the two-month deadline given to them.
It would be recalled that Governor Obiano had rolled out this initiative in November 2016 as part of his administration’s vision to modernise markets across the state.
Okoli wrote in from Awka