Police presence at the Ladipo spare parts market, arguably the largest spare parts market in sub-Saharan Africa was intimidating during the market’s leadership election, which took place during the week.
The market notably for its volatile nature in hostility for years now was reduced to its lowest ebb as police officers were dispatched to scene to ensure orderliness.
The election, which always attracts a high level of participation amongst the Igbo traders whose multi-million investments in the spare parts businesses are involved, was surprisingly peaceful without any rancour as the market leaders put everything at stake to ensure that it was free and fair.
It attracted a high level of security presence from the Directorate of Security Services (DSS), contingents of Police drafted from the Area ‘D’ Command, led by the Area D Commander, Akinboyo Olasoji, whose track record in sanitising turbulent areas preceded him. In the end, the election was adjudged to be peaceful, free and fair.
The Divisional Police Officer Ladipo Division, Superintendent of Police, SP, Falowo Timothy and his men were also there for a show of strength which waded off any planned troubled in the market till the end of the election which lasted from 8am till 10.45pm.
After the elections, Mbamala Emmanuel Ngozichukwuka, popularly known as PDP, emerged as the new President of the Aguyi Ironsi International Spare Parts market part of Ladipo market. He beat three other contestants to cling the position.
He takes over from Cyril Chukwujindu Onyemaechi, aka CY. Nnaji Victor Ikechukwu became the Secretary, while Nkemakolam Chigozie was elected as the financial secretary and Oputa Malachy was also elected as the treasurer.
A total of 29 candidates participated in the election, vying for various positions. About 2,364 accredited voters were able to cast their votes. The electoral Committee chairman, Chukwudi Kingsley, coordinated the exercise.
Reacting to the election, the outgoing president, Cyril Onyemaechi, expressed his gratitude to the traders and particularly the security operatives led by Akinboyo Olasoji for a peaceful election.
He was specifically grateful to the Area D Commander, bearing in mind the tension that preceded the election. “My major interest is to hand over to the incoming leadership through a free and fair process without rancour or any form of violence. I am happy that has been achieved”, he said.
Previous elections in Ladipo spare parts market have been held under tension and threat of violence.
Reacting to the election, a former President of the market and the first elected president of the market who is highly regarded as the father of all in the market Mazi Jonathan Chibuzo Okoli otherwise known as Ojukwu or Japan because of his unusual bravery and courage in defending his people in the market, was full of happiness for the peaceful conduct of the election despite what he said was manipulated in certain quarters to edge out the winner of the election but God prevail and made him victorious.
Okoli charged the new management to be of good behavior and provide good leadership as expected of them by the people who elected them.
“They should know that a lot is expected of them and they should not fail the people who voted them in because they believe in them” he stated.
Meanwhile, the incoming presidents Mr Mbamala Emmanuel popularly known as PDP was full of praises to God and thankful to the market member for electing him and promise that there will be a change in his leadership.
“I want to extend my hand of fellowship to all most especially those that contested and lost. It is victory for all; it is everybody’s government. No victory no vanquished. We are here to build this market together it is our own and all hands must be on deck to achieve this, he said.
Listing his transformation agenda for the market the President said he was determined to ensure a clean market by flooring the market, ensuring safe electricity wiring lines and ensuring a crises free market through dialogue and well documented data of stakeholders amongst others.