.Call for conduct of credible poll immediately
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Traders of Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, ASPAMDA, have called on Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to dissolve the interim government and organise a democratic process that will usher in elected officers in line with a court judgment to avoid an impending bloodbath, anarchy in the market.
The traders under the aegis of Coalition of Political Parties in ASPAMDA, COPPIAL, accused the interim government led by one Mr Sunny Igboanuzue, of resorting to intimidation, harassment of members.
James Umeji, who addressed the media on behalf of the association on Wednesday, at the ASPAMDA market, Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, said: “On November 28, 2018, the High Court of Lagos presided over by Justice Ogunjobi in delivering judgment, ordered the then President Chief Daniel Oforkansi to vacate office immediately his tenure has expired. Instead of the then-president vacating office and election organized within 30 days in accordance with the judgment of the court, he opted for appeal. In their wisdom, the court of Appeal Lagos Division on March 17, 2020, dismissed his appeal and affirmed the judgment of the lower court.
“Because of the refusal of Daniel Oforkansi to vacate office, well-meaning members of ASPAMDA organized themselves and petitioned to the appropriate quarter for justice, their petitions culminated to the quick intervention of Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu by appointing an interim executive led by Mr Sunny Igboanuzue with a specific directive to organize an election for the people of ASPAMDA.
“At inception the enthusiasm was high but recent events have shown that some hidden political forces have hijacked the interim administration from him hereby truncating the purpose and objective to which he was appointed.
“It is now over one year of his appointment as the head of the interim government of ASPAMDA. His incompetency and lack of political will are well pronounced that it has become obvious that he can not organize elections for traders of APSAMDA as wished and directed by the Governor.
“Rather ASPAMDA has again been turned into a private business centre. Traders are subjected to extortion of money in the name of levies.
“Public facilities that are supposed to be maintained for the general well being of traders are totally neglected. All the interest of the interim leadership was to perpetuate himself in power through his godfather. These godfathers are not members of ASPAMDA.
“It is important for the press to note that ASPAMDA members have recorded tapes whereby the interim president had threatened to use security agents against any member who calls for election in ASPAMDA market again.
“The interim president has before now resorted to intimidation of members calling for election by bringing soldiers to harass and intimidate them. So many traders’ shops who opposed him were locked and some are still locked to date by the president with the help of hired military gang.
“ASPAMDA members are peace-loving people that believe in democracy and good governance. They believe that a leader of their choice will move their business forward and all their endeavours.
“The interim government had exceeded their mandate from Lagos State Government without any intention or program for election for ASPAMDA, the members of ASPAMDA once again with the greatest humility, sense of justice and fairness hereby, appeal to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to dissolve the interim government immediately for their failure to act in accordance with the mandate given to them and to constitute a committee that will organize an election for ASPAMDA traders.
“The continued stay of the interim executive is seriously generating tension in the market that the only way to curtail the youths and other well-meaning traders in the market is to organize elections for them.
“We, members of ASPAMDA hereby, appeal to the Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu to save our souls by dissolving the interim government.”