By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has directed the Interim leadership of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association Nigeria, ASPAMDA, to conduct elections in within 60 days or 90 days.
The directive came following protests by some aggrieved members of the association over undue delay in proper conduct of election by interim leadership since 2018.
The state government, in a late statement on Monday night, by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, stated that it was necessary for the interim leadership of ASPAMDA to conduct elections and end its protracted leadership crises.
Recall that the crises started in 2018 when the tenure of the last substantive leadership ended and its efforts to extend its tenure led to judicial contestation.
According to Omotoso, “A high court in 2018 kicked out the former leadership in a judgment that was affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
“Despite the judgments, the past leadership continued to hold sway. This led to bitter agitations. The state government received a flood of petitions about the past leadership’s refusal to obey court orders, refusing to vacate office.
“The state Government, through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, wrote the Inspector General of Police, requesting that Sunday Igboanuzuo and Emeka Chukwueloka be appointed Chairman and Secretary of the Caretaker Committee immediately, with the mandate to conduct elections to elect a credible leadership for ASPAMDA within 30 days, in accordance with the court judgment.
“The Caretaker Committee took off on the 2July 20 2020.
“The Caretaker Committee did not conduct elections within the 30 days or even the 90 days specified by the ASPAMDA constitution.
“The State Government notes that the Caretaker Committee is rather bent on perpetuating itself in office without due process.
“The above scenario has bred wide division, bad blood, tension and acrimony in ASPAMDA as a result of the self-perpetuation plan of the Caretaker Committee.”
However, following a stakeholders’ meeting held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at Lagos House Marina, Governor, Sanwo-Olu, after listening to all the stakeholders directed that: ” The Caretaker Committee headed by Sunday Igboanuzuo with Emeka Chukwuloka as Secretary, should conduct election into ASPAMDA offices within 60 to 90 days; and
“That the state government will provide security and other logistics that will enable the conduct of free and fair elections within this said period.”
Omotoso said, while, the government would monitor developments to ensure the directive is carried out to the latter, expressed the hope that it would end the protracted leadership crises in ASPAMDA and install an atmosphere of peace and harmony needed to maximise the business potential of ASPAMDA.