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REVITALIZING OBOLLO-AFOR MARKET: Setting the record straight

By Nduka Nnadi


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Obollo Afor market is an ancient trading center in the Nsukka zone, known for its rich historical significance and bustling commercial activities. Unfortunately, over the years, the market has suffered from poor delineation and underdevelopment. However, a ray of hope has emerged with the current executive Chairman of Udenu LGA, Hon. Solomon Izuchukwu Onah, who has taken it upon himself to give the market a much-needed facelift. Despite his noble intentions, the Chairman faces opposition from individuals who benefit from the existing market conditions and spread baseless allegations against his project.

The Chairman’s main objective is to enhance the market’s overall infrastructure, benefiting both traders and customers alike. One of the major initiatives undertaken is the expansion of the Motor park, thereby increasing the market’s capacity to accommodate more vehicles and facilitate smoother transportation. This expansion directly caters to the needs of the traders and visitors by improving accessibility and easing congestion.

Additionally, the Chairman is actively working towards delineating the market space, ensuring a systematic layout that optimizes the available land. By doing so, he is creating an environment conducive for the growth and prosperity of businesses in Obollo Afor market. This not only enhances safety and organization but also attracts more traders and customers, fostering economic development in the metropolis.

As part of his inclusive strategy, the Chairman is empowering the traders and market women who have long been subjected to exploitative renting practices. It is disheartening to witness these individuals paying exorbitant rents, up to 15,000 Naira per month, just to sell their goods under umbrellas. These monies goes to the private purses of few capitalists, who are merchants of embezzlement. The Chairman’s vision involves providing these traders with designated stalls or shops, ensuring fair and affordable prices for rent. This move not only secures a stable trading environment but also promotes entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency.

Unfortunately, the noble efforts of the Chairman have been marred by baseless allegations and misinformation spread by opposition politicians and those benefitting from the current unfavorable condition of the market. These detractors have flooded social media platforms with falsehoods, falsely accusing the Chairman of misappropriating lands in Obollo Afor market. However, their claims hold no merit, as the Chairman’s focus lies solely on expanding the Motor park, a much-needed improvement rather than a misappropriation.

Let it be known that the peddlers of these falsehoods failed to tell the people that the Motor park space which measured less than 2,500 square meters prior to the commencement of this project, now has 3,311 square meters, as the space gets decongested.
They also refused to tell their gullible listeners that it was petty traders and artisans who have been victims of exorbitant rent for canopy and umbrella spaces that cried to the Local Government to intervene and rescue them.

It is quite unfortunate that among the leading vocal oppositions, is a well respected ex-service man, and diplomat, General Eze Rtd. He is ultimately reducing himself to social media hireling, circulating demeaning attack and unsubstantiated accusations against Hon. Onah. He has been inciting Obollo people against the Council Chair, causing disaffection and throwing his support behind the few capitalists who extort the market women. His major concern was that it should not be Hon. Onah, “whose tenure will expire in February” that should take the glory of this revitalization process of the ancient market. Does it matter which time a public office holder delivers social amenities? Someone should tap the General and remind him that the Chairman is under oath to continue to give Ndi Udenu quality developmental leadership till the last day of his term.

In one of his conjectures, he prayed affirmed that if Hon. Chijioke Edoga of the Labour Party succeeds through the tribunal to become the governor of Enugu State, his port of call will be reversing of all developmental strategies made by this regime. He indirectly told his audience that Hon. Edoga’s administration (if it ever happens) will be a vendetta regime, other than offering quality leadership and progressive governance.

This is eye-opening!

But the truth is that like Michelle Obama, Hon. Solomon Onah “will not let the noise of the opposition drown out the whisper of progress.” Ndi Obollo are urged not to be swayed by baseless accusations but rather focus on the positive impacts of the Chairman’s developmental strategy. However, it must be admitted that no development ever comes without friction. But when the friction becomes fatal then the grill of just cause must be made to hold sway. The Chairman deserve a pat on the back for having the vision and political will to embark on this innovative project.

Let everyone engage in meaningful discussions about the Chairman’s development plans for Obollo Afor market, rather than engaging in petty gossip and personal attacks, as he spearheads a commendable effort to revitalize the ancient Obollo Afor market. His comprehensive strategy, demands that we look beyond the falsehoods and support the Chairman’s noble mission of bringing lasting development to Obollo Afor market. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” and the Chairman’s efforts represent a step towards illuminating the path of progress for the entire community.

May Obollo succeed.

— Nduka Nnadi

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