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Alaba FFDA traders get new leaders, expect return of peace

 

By Tony Udemba

Following the prolonged leadership crisis and recent breakdown of law and order in the Fancy and Furniture Dealers Association, (FFDA) section of Alaba Market in Ojo, Lagos, the executive body of the association has announced the impeachment of its embattled chairman, Hon. Emeka Mozoba.

Similarly, the former 1st Vice chairman, Mr. Ernest Okonkwo had been sworn-in as the new chairman.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of an emergency executive meeting which took place at its secretariat, Okonkwo stated that the change in the leadership of the association was necessitated by the urgent need to chart a new course for the association, to set it on the path of progress and development, and end the crises in the body. He assured that with his emergence as the new chairman, peace, good governance and people-friendly policies would be restored in the market to benefit all stakeholders, just as he said the peaceful atmosphere in the market is confirmation of the acceptance of the new leadership by the traders. He assured his focus would be on promotion and sustenance of peace already back since they were sworn-in, as well as the improvement of security and safety of traders and their customers.

“We are committed to avoiding anti-traders policies and recklessness that characterized the failure of the immediate past regime. We will operate open-door and traders-friendly policies. So all we want is the co-operation and understanding of the traders in order to lead the association to greater heights.”

Similarly, the secretary of the association, Ikechukwu Okafor, assured that the coming of the new executive was timely in order to provide the needed leadership that would guarantee peace, safety and put to an end the era of impunity and instability in the market.

He lamented that in the past the market had been riddled with crises, in-fighting and godfatherism which had constituted a bad image to the association and negatively affected the ease of doing business in the area. Okafor said that the removal from office of the former chairman by the association was guided by its constitution and the need to save the market from shutdown by the authorities.

He assured that the new leadership was committed to the reversal of all unconstitutional and illegal acts of the past. “Just today, the chairman has started on a good note by ordering for the removal of illegal attached shops in the market. And we are reviewing the activities of the past to right the wrongs.”

But in his reaction to his removal from office, Emeka Mozoba insisted that he was innocent of all the accusations made against and said that his purported removal from office was illegal and that he still remained the leader of the association. Speaking from his hospital bed as he is recuperating from injuries allegedly sustained in a clash with unknown attackers that invaded his office at the secretariat of the association some weeks ago, he was surprised that his executives would move for his impeachment even while he was receiving treatment from multiple injuries and fractures inflicted on him during an attack by a group of persons few weeks ago.

According to him, “I felt shocked and betrayed that while I was assaulted and nearly killed by attackers right inside my office in the secretariat, and receiving treatment in the hospital, some of my trusted executives were busy plotting my removal from office.”

 He further said that in all his days in office, he had given his best and devoted his time to the development of the market. While promising to use every legal avenue to challenge his removal, he called on traders to ensure the maintenance of peace and order in the market at all times.

Commenting on the matter, Mr. Felix Nwagu, the chairman of Alaba Amalgamated Traders Association Council of All Sections, comprising of over 15 associations, said the emergence of a new leadership in FFDA, was a positive development that would bring lasting peace and progress in the market, just as he distanced the association from the recent fracas in the FFDA. He assured that with the inauguration of Ernest Okonkwo as the new chairman, peace, good governance and security have returned to the FFDA and the entire market.

In an interview with Daily Sun recently in Lagos, Nwagu, who is also the chairman of General Electric Dealers Association of Nigeria stated that the association which consists of member associations with common interests, has a policy of non- interference in the internal activities of member associations except when invited to do so by the members of such association, as well as when the issues concerned affects the security of the entire market. He disclosed that for too long the association had been inundated with several petitions against Mozoba written by aggrieved members of the FFDA, bothering on insecurity in the market, financial recklessness among other serious allegations. According to him, “for too long we have received several written petitions, as well as oral complaints from aggrieved members of FFDA about insecurity, harassment and numerous other allegations against the immediate past leadership which has given us great concern on the overall security and safety of both traders and customers in the market”

 Another traders’ leader, Hon. Natathaniel Anigbogu, chairman of Olojo Drive and Environs Traders Association, and the spokesman of Alaba Amalgamated stated that it was unfortunate that the former chairman of FFDA failed to effectively manage the multiple crises that had plagued that section of the market for too long, saying.

Similarly, Felix Obalim and Udechukwu Chukwuma, Vice Chairman and Assistant Secretary of FFDA, respectively, were unanimous in hailing the emergence of the new leadership in the market, and called for prayers and support of the traders to the new leadership.

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This post was syndicated from The Sun News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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