The Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association on Wednesday banned prayers in markets in the state. ASMATA President -General Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu said this in Onitsha while addressing market union leaders.

He said the ban became necessary because politicians had hijacked the exercise. Ekwegbalu said, “What we see now is extortion and conversion of prayer sessions into political rallies.

“This move became necessary because we have discovered that some overzealous people abuse this practice by extorting money from market men and women regularly. “Some have turned the prayers into political jamborees and this is not healthy for the system.”

The union chief urged ASMATA members to stop involving police or government officials in matters concerning them, saying they should report cases to the leaders of their markets.

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