Igbo traders: We have no candidate for Nigeria's presidency yet

Igbo traders: We have no candidate for Nigeria's presidency yet

Monday, December 29, 2014 6:38 pm


The pan-Igbo political and cultural organisation, Ohanaeze may have left little doubt on who its members will be backing in Nigeria’s 14 February presidential election, but another igbo powerful group, the traders, clarified today that it is yet to reach a decision.

The South-East Amalgamated Market Traders Association (SEAMATAS) said it will reach the decision on 15 January, 2015 about a month to the election.

The association’s President-General, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, said this at a media briefing after an emergency meeting held in Onitsha, Anambra.

The chosen date is replete with significant days in Nigeria’s history: it was the day of Nigeria’s first coup in 1966; it was also the day that that Nigeria got the instrument of surrender from Biafran troops in 1970.

According to Ezenwankwo, the market leaders are still consulting on the matter and that the consultation had become necessary for avoidance of sentiments and bandwagon syndrome.

Okwudili Ezenwankwo; leaves option open

Okwudili Ezenwankwo; leaves option open

“Today, we have resolved that South-East traders have not adopted anybody as their candidate for the 2015 presidential election. Let me assure you that by the 15 of January (2015), we will convene a general meeting of all the market leaders and their secretaries in the South-East, we will adopt a candidate in that meeting.

“Yes, like I said before that we are not politicians, we are doing our legitimate business. So what we are saying is to create an enabling environment for us to do our business. So we need a candidate that would assist traders.

“We are not politicians; we are not taking issue with any political party. And we are happy they have conducted their primaries free and fair and presidential candidates for different parties had emerged; goodluck to all of them.’’

The president-general said that the traders had resolved not to follow any candidate based on mere sentiment without looking at concrete achievement and track-record.

“We are traders and we do not want to plant seed of discord and mistrust among our midst by unilaterally endorsing any candidate without wider consultation from millions of traders from hundreds of markets dotting the South-East. We owe it a duty to direct our members aright and purposefully on how and who to vote for without putting sentiments and bandwagon notion into it

“We would not endorse any candidate, who would not or had not protected traders’ interest on Jan. 15, 2015.’’

Ezenwankwo, however, said the presidential candidate to be adopted by traders must have plan and policy framework to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

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