The Anambra state commissioner for commerce, trade, markets and wealth creation, Dr Christian Madubuko, has rescued an octogenarian, Mr Linus Ohiri (aged 80) and his 65-year-old wife, Helen, from untimely death by ordering the immediate restoration of their shops which were removed from them when the leadership of Progress line, Biafra market, near Main Market, Onitsha, wanted to reconstruct the shops in the market.
It was gathered that, after the construction, the traders were asked to pay N425,000 for each of the reconstructed shops which they did. However, a new twist played out later when the couple came for their two shops to be restored to them and they were told that the money had been increased to N515,000 per shop, an increase of N90,000.
The couple’s six years of persistent pleas with the leadership of the market to restore their shops proved abortive, causing them trauma, displeasure and nightmare, resulting in their sickness.
The couple reportedly went to Commissioner Madubuko in the state capital at Awka following which he intervened and prevailed on the chairman of Progress Line, Chief Ekene Okoye to immediately restore the two shops to the couple.
“In our presence the commissioner phoned the chairman and ordered him to restore our two shops to us. What we have gone through for the past six years the leadership refused to restore our shops to us kept us in this sorry condition.
The trauma, nightmare, poverty, pains and disillusion that we suffered for six years as we were in despair caused us sickness that would have led to death if not for the God-sent commissioner”.
“God will keep him for the poor and those who have nobody to speak for them in time of trouble” he stated.
“We have no other means of livelihood except the shops that were denied us for six years, he lamented.
Reacting when contacted the state chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, said, “the couple have been disillusioned, traumatised, displeased, dissatisfied after their relentless efforts without effect. The leadership of the market, out of rapaciousness and disregard for human rights, rule of law and constitutionality, has refused, failed and neglected to give the couple their shops.”
The CLO boss urged the commissioner to also beam his search light on other market leaders that include the Green Seed Market where he said similar thing was going on.