Apart from the fear of possible eviction from their operational space at the popular Orange Market, in Karu Local Government Area, the market is reputed for all manner of crime-sex, gambling, local wrestling (Dambe), which sometimes result to deaths or serious injuries.
As a result of the above, which also constitutes a threat to security, the state government has taken legal action to revoke the allocation of the space which was sub-let to the traders of the market, by the original owner of the space, late Senator Mbu Wada.
The locals are also threatening that strangers have taken their land through undue competition and thereby denying them the opportunity to practice their age-old profession –farming.
It is also on record that the make-shift shops in the market had on several occasions been ravaged by fire as a result of the activities of some alleged Indian hemp smokers.
Analysts are also of the view that though the traders in the market are contributing their quota in the development of the state’s economy, their continued stay in the area may provoke border insecurity as was experienced prior to the Madalla bombing in Niger State. The Christmas Day bombing left scores of deaths in its wake.
Meanwhile, a power tussle has ensued within the Orange Market branch of the Sauki Yam Dealers Association of Nigeria, specifically between Abdulahi Musa Yelwa, the Board of Trustees chairman who had served as the association’s chairman for 14 years and the incumbent chairman, Abubakar Adamu.
According to documents exclusively obtained by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, trouble started when Abubakar allegedly reported a case of impersonation and forgery, acts likely to cause a breach of public peace to the police on January 13, 2012.
The First Information Report, (FIR) claimed that he, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar of Angwa Waje, Keffi, was on September 29, 2011 elected as chairman of the Sauki Yam Dealers Association of Nigeria, Nasarawa State branch, but that one Abdullahi Musa Yelwa of Tudun Wada, a former chairman of the association refused to perform the formal handing over formalities by holding on to the association’s official documents which included the Corporate Affairs Commission certificate and seal issued to the association.
It also alleged that the former chairman sent a memo to Platinum Savings and Loans Limited with an official letter- headed paper of the Sauki Yam Dealers association, claiming to be its authentic chairman, a claim he buttressed by attaching the photocopy of the said certificate.
According to police report, the matter had been diligently investigated and subsequently charged to High Court, New Karu, Nasarawa State under sections 132, 364 and 27 of the Penal Code.
On September 28, 2011, when the case which was heard by Justice R. G. Soji, came up, the court ordered thus: “I hold that this action is incompetent, statute barred; this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain same. This action is hereby dismissed.”
Following the dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction, the plaintiff has since taken the matter to the State High Court in Lafia.
Meanwhile, the Karu Local Government Council has moved into save the situation.A letter dated December 11, 2009 or ? and addressed to the chairman of the market, had announced the dissolution of the executive committee of the association until further notice.
The local government, through the same correspondence notified the association that it will soon inaugurate a committee to run the affairs of the association.
But before the expiration of the mandate of the committee which included the conduct of election that produced Alhaji Abubakar Adamu as the incumbent chairman, the embattled Alhaji Yelwa allegedly wrote to the council to register his protest and refusal to recognise the interim committee and his intention not to be part of any of its actions including any election conducted by it.
The interim committee was headed by a retired Director of Personnel of the council. But information made available to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY showed that by law, Yelwa ought to have written such a letter of dissent, within 30 days after the agreement was reached by both parties, which he failed to do.
The council refused to yield to Yelwa’s request and went ahead to conduct the election which saw the emergence of the Abubakar Adamu exco. The election is, however, being challenged at the Nasarawa State High Court, while the local government in a pre-emptive move, ordered the de-registering and barring of the association from operating within the market.
With the uneasy calm that is now prevalent in0 the market as a result of the impasse, the traders and other users of the market have called on the the state government to intervene in order to save the situation as well ascheckmate its use for unwholesome activities.