By Chukwudum Ebele
The Obosi Development Union (ODU) has tasked the major markets within the community to live up to their corporate social responsibility (CSR) saying that they should take into account the social, environmental effects of market activities on the Obosi community.
Speaking to newsmen at the ODU secretariat in Obosi in Idemili North local government area, the president general (PG) of the union, Engr. Ikechukwu Okolo, said that although the markets and the revenue generated therefrom belonged to the state government, its location had attracted a lot of inconvenience to the community. For that reason, he said, the community deserved some sort of voluntary compensation to support community developmental projects and security.
“I have set up a committee and tried to seek the co-operation of the leaders of these markets but they bluntly refused to assist or contribute to the development of Obosi community in any way. They claim to pay homage to our traditional ruler during festivities like Obiora, new yam festivals or Ito-ogbo celebration but that is on personal basis and, even individuals do offer presents to the Igwe during such festivities.
“They ignore our calls to partner with the community who allowed them to do their business without hiccups. Rather, they connive with some Obosi indigenes to deny the entire community of their corporate social responsibility. They forget that the presence of these markets has attracted hoodlums operating in the guise as traders, apprentices and customers thereby endangering the lives and property of residents. The nefarious activities indulged by these impostors (are) tantamount to disparaging the image of Obosi community,” he alleged.
“Even the government of Anambra state understands what is called CSR. We are looking at the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)-led government to intervene. These markets are for electrical goods, Old Motorcar Parts Dealers Association, OMPDA or Mgbuka, stockfish market and the most annoying, Green Seed Sellers’ market, among others. We do not get a dime from them. Sometimes they complain of some individuals from our town collecting illegal fees but how can we stop the illegal activities since they refuse to partner with us,” lamented Okolo.
“It is so painful and disheartening. There is much drainage to clear or mend, many potholes to fill and so many other projects we as a community can embark on but there is no money coming from any of these markets, including street markets.”
However, in their defence one of the market leaders, chairman Mgbuka traders, Ogbuefi Ezeobodo Samuel Okechukwu, argued that the market only owed allegiance to the state government, saying his predecessors had nothing to do with CSR. “We can only consider complying if the PG or Town Union produces authorisation to pay CSR from the ministry of trade, commerce and wealth creation.”