Marketers in Anambra state under the aegis of Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) on Wednesday placed a ban on daily and weekly prayers in markets across the state.
The President General of the body, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, revealed this in Onitsha on Wednesday while addressing market union chairmen and secretaries.
He explained that general prayers in markets would henceforth be held once a month as against daily or weekly prayer activities.
According to him, the decision was borne out of several alleged extortion and conversion of the spiritual which has become political in the markets.
He said, “This move became very necessary because we have discovered that some overzealous ones abuse this practice by extorting market men and women regularly of their hard-earned resources.
“Some have turned the prayers into a somewhat political jamboree and this is not healthy for the system.
“All market leaders are expected to meet with the traders and unanimously agree on a suitable date and ensure to observe the monthly prayers within a stipulated time of between 7am to 10am.”
Ekwegbalu frowned at the attitude of involving the police or Ministry of Trade and Commerce when issues that should be resolved within the market leadership arose.
He urged traders to seek redress through the appropriate processes within the ambits of the constitution when there were disagreements.
The ASMATA boss also condemned revenue racketeering, urging leaders of various market union to dully remit revenues generated from their respective markets into the state government coffers.
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