The closure of Onit­sha drugs market Friday on the orders of the executive members of the market has pitched the traders against each other.
The closure of the mar­ket allegedly was to enable all the drug dealers partici­pate the a capacity building workshop for stakeholders in Coordinated Wholesale Centres, CWCs organised by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, PCN, in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State.
But the Surgical Equip­ment dealers accused the market executive of using MASSOB members to ter­rorise them. The pande­monium erupted during the enforcement of the market closure by a special task force believed to have been detailed to close the market by the market lead­ership.
According to an eye wit­ness, the task force had al­legedly used all forms of brute force to compel trad­ers out of the market.
Reacting to the devel­opment, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT of Surgical and Scientific Allied Equipment Deal­ers Union, SSAEDU, Mr Cyprian Umeh; Chairman of the Union, Sir Anselm Obiagwu and a stake­holder at the drugs market, Chidoo Anizor, accused the task force of using maximum force to carry out the market closure.
According to Umeh, Obiagwu and Anizor, the task force members, num­bering over 30, some of whom they identified as members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has at about 8 a.m stormed the market with arms and other dan­gerous weapons and alleg­edly unleashed mayhem on the traders.
Specifically, Umeh, Obiagwu and Anizor al­leged that the task force did not only chase out the traders from the market and locked up their shops but also injured about 10 persons and allegedly looted their shops and de­stroyed goods worth mil­lions of naira.
They accused the Uche Eze-led executive mem­bers of the drugs market of unleashing the task force on members of the Surgical Union who are not members of the drugs market, adding that some traders at the drugs mar­ket who could not afford the N40,000 seminar fee were those attacked by the task force.
Confirming the pande­monium, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO at Fegge Division, Rabiu Garba (SP), described the incident as mere market politics, adding that those claiming to have been in­jured should state the par­ticular hospital or hospi­tals they were hospitalised or how much money they lost. - The Authority