Balogun Market Stakeholders, Condemn Any Election Other Than One By Caretaker Committee

By Uchenna Eletuo

Lagos, June. 23, 2021 (NAN) The Balogun Business Association (BBA) Stakeholders of Lagos Trade Fair, on Wednesday condemned any election to be conducted by any group in the market other than one by the Caretaker Transition Committee (CTC).

The stakeholders, comprising of Founders of the market, leaders of various clusters that make-up the market and traders, said that, parallel election other than one planned for July 28 by CTC would disrupt peace in the market.

The traders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos State after their session to harmonise issues, said that the purported election planned for Thursday June 24th at Villa Park Hotel Amuwo Odofin by a group was illegal.

Mr Jude Okenwa, a member of the Oyo Cluster management, said that, the group was a faceless one and do not have right to conduct election to enthrone new executives of the market.
Okenwa, who described the villa park planned election as an act of brigandage; called on the discedent group to allow peace to reign in the place.

Secretary of the CTC Mr Leo Ogbonna, said that the activities of those opposed to the running of the market by the CTC were to cause mayhem in the business community.

According to him there is no other transition management group recognised by law since the tenure of the erstwhile executive elapsed in December 2020 without them conducting an election for successor.

“It was court a prouncement that instituted the CTC going by the BBA constitution and with an exit date of July 28 within which election and other issues must have been put in place.
“My committee with the consent of the traders and aspirants have agreed that election to elect new executives will take place by July 28 with series of activities geared toward that.

“Candidates have been screened by the electoral committee appointed by CTC and the Returning Officer is on top of his task to make the election free and fair.
“It beats stakeholders imagination to begin to hear that an election is being arranged for tomorrow at a distance hotel other than in the market as is the tradition.

“How can some people single handedly pick people and call them aspirants to various positions and ask people to come and vote; sidelining known candidates that has been campaigning for months,” he said.
Ogbonna, who cited three outstanding court orders that proscribed any such group from meddling into the management of the market, said such election do not have legal backing.

He called on traders to disregard the election, and continue to support the CTC for an acceptable election by July.

Oscar Odogwu, a  front line candidate for the slot of the President, who declined comment on tomorrow’s election, said that he expected justice to prevail in the leadership election.

Mr Chidiebere Okoye, a Stewart of the group that was organising tomorrow’s election, said that the group do not have confidence in the committee conducting a credible election.

NAN reports that the international market, worth #80 billion,  with not less than three million people earning living from it, has been under the CTC since December 15.

NAN further reports that CTC is made up of past leaders of the market with HON. Anselm Dunu as Chairman (NAN)

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