Posted by News Express | 20 March 2014 | 3,648 times
Traders at the popular Ladipo Market in Lagos are threatening a showdown with their leaders following what they described as the ‘imposition of non-traders’ on them by government. To this end, they have vowed to resist attempts by the present leadership to alienate those they claim were genuine traders whom they elected to lead them.
The Secretary of Aguiyi-Ironsi Traders Association, Ladipo, Chief Christian Ibegbunam, and the Financial Secretary, Vincent Nwosu told Crime Alert that contrary to reports that there is peace in the market, traders are living in fear of their lives as a result of the autocratic way some people who claimed to be their leaders are handling the affairs of the market. According to the traders, “There is no peace in our market. Recent reports that peace has returned to the market is total lies and blatant falsehood calculated to hoodwink the authorities and members of the public.
“The report emanated from one of those leading a faction that wanted to enthrone themselves on the hapless and helpless traders. These are the people that led thugs to attack the market to overthrow the genuine traders we elected to lead us led by Jonathan Okoli few years back. How can there be peace when there are various court cases over the election still pending in court, while they are yet to redress the injustice meted on our popular leaders.
“Our President, Jonathan Okoli, for example, was incarcerated for over a year at Ikoyi Prisons on trumped-up charges just because he was clamouring for justice and working for the best interest of traders at Ladipo. The only way to bring peace to the market is to call on all the contending parties to withdraw the cases in court. Although we learnt that they have succeeded in crippling our President, Jonathan Okoli, after he was waylaid by assassins who orchestrated an accident that nearly killed him, traders are lamenting the untold hardship they are going through inside the market because of the leadership that was imposed on them.
“Those people that claim to be our leaders are not genuine traders. They have been extorting money from traders indiscriminately and also threatening us with security agents. There is no cohesion between the present leadership and traders in the market.
“This has made most of us to call for the re-in statement of Jonathan Okoli as our leader because when he was in charge, we were not brutalised or turned to slaves. We are therefore appealing to the Federal Government to urgently intervene in this matter before things get out of hand.”
•Credit (except headline): Vanguard. Photo shows Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (middle); Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello (left); Director of Enforcement, Ministry of the Environment, Oluwatoyin Adesina Onisarotu (2nd right); Chairman, Mushin Local Government Area, Mr. Babatunde Adepitan (2nd left) and President General, Ladipo Central Executive Auto Dealers Association, Comrade Ikechukwu Animalu, during Fashola’s visit to the market last year.
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