ANAMBRA State traders under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Traders, NANTS, declared, yesterday, that they have not endorsed any of the governorship candidates for the November 18 election in the state as being speculated.

In a statement in Awka, the state chairman of the traders, Mr. Obi Egbuna, said they were not interested in any party, but in the person contesting the election, who they argued, must possess the right pedigree to govern Anambra State. According to Egbuna, NANTS would carry out an objective evaluation and assessment of all the candidates in the race to ascertain their suitability, achievements, credibility, integrity and capacity to run the affairs of the state, if elected.

He said: “Anambra traders will endorse the candidate that demonstrates the capacity to develop and transform Anambra State economically,socially and otherwise, as we will not allow our state to drift to retrogression after the forthcoming governorship election.” “We acknowledge advances being made to traders by various candidates to the November governorship election, but NANTS will only make its endorsement public after all verifications and assessments are concluded. “The next Anambra Governor that NANTS will throw its weight behind will be a true son of Anambra, who will ensure equitable distribution of offices, portfolios, resources, investments, amenities, etc and also treat every indigene and non-indigene of our state with fairness and good conscience. “We shall use all legitimate resources at our disposal to stop any attempt by fraudulent characters from nearing the exalted office of Governor of Anambra State and we will synergise and work with individuals and groups of like minds to enthrone the best candidate as governor. “We urge traders and our teeming members in Anambra State to remain resolute to our commitment to equity, justice, development and human capacity building in our state and also await the final pronouncement from the state headquarters of NANTS on the chosen candidate that NANTS will support to lead the people of Anambra for the next four years.”

The traders, however, commended the Chief Willie Obiano administration for its commitment and efforts towards protecting the lives and property of citizens and residents in Anambra State. “We also observed with dismay, what they called the continued harassment of their members in the various markets and streets by some illegal revenue agents, despite the state government’s pronouncement and directives stopping the unpatriotic activities of fake revenue agents in the markets,’’ they added.