Posted by News Express | 17 January 2020 | 505 times
No fewer than 300 suspected thugs believed to be in the payroll of the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) on Thursday invaded Nkpor Auto Parts Market executive election during accreditation injuring six.
Also injured was the Electoral Committee chairman, Chief Ifeanyi Mbaekwe.
The thugs said to be led by the ASMATA President, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbaru, stormed the venue of the election while accreditation was still on and attempted to forcefully open the iron gate of the market but were stopped following the intervention of security operatives.
It was gathered that some of the thugs clad in yellow apron reportedly forced their way into the election venue through other flexible gates, manhandling the electoral committee chairman and ordering him to produce the keys to the main gate.
The electoral chairman, Mbaekwe, while addressing journalists alleged imposition of leadership on them urging the state government to allow them conduct a democratic election.
He said: “Over 300 of the suspected thugs stood outside, while those who made their way to the election venue attempted strangulating me but for divine intervention.
“The ASMATA boys, believed to be thugs, beat me up with one of them holding me as he was giving the order. They insisted I must produce the key to the main gate, but I told them I was not with the key.
“I urge the State Government to allow us to do a democratic election, they should not impose a candidate on us.”
A physically challenged trader who spoke in confidence, said he was held by one of the thugs who warned him not to misbehave or had himself to blame.
“You know you have only one hand, if you don’t behave well you should be in the grave now,” he told News Express.
The crisis led to the indefinite postponement of the election by the ASMATA President.
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