OVER 1000 women traders on the aegis of Agboedo United Market Women Association on Monday, staged a peaceful demonstration over an alleged extortion.
The women from Agboechi market alleged that they have suffered all manners of intimidation and extortion from the chairman of the market, Christopher Osuojukwu and his team.
The spokesperson of the protesters, Martha Mbonu, told journalists that the women in the market have been unjustly treated in the collection of levies.
According to her, “we the women traders decided to stage a protest because the chairman of the market has come up with the idea that we will pay for an identity card of N500. We vehemently objected to that because most of the women in the section of the market are petty traders who are only dealing on vegetables and minor soup supplements whose investment are not up to N2000.
“We made attempt to make Osuojukwu see reason, but he has remained adamant, forcing us to pay for his identity cards even when many of us already have National ID Cards and permanent voters cards.
Osuojukwu is coming up with the idea of identity cards to disenfranchise many poor women in the next election in the market as it is a common knowledge that the petty traders will not give him their mandate again.
Reacting on the development, the chairman, Osuojukwu said the protesting women were not his members, stressing that the ID Cards is optional for shop owners.
He stated that the protesters are mostly those who attached themselves to recognised and registered shop owners, stressing that they are being used by those he defeated in their last election in the market. He noted his adversaries are using the women to format trouble in the market.