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Traders protest against chairman’s tenure

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Protesters at the Trade Fair Complex...yesterday

Protesters at the Trade Fair Complex…yesterday

There was pandemonium yesterday at the International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, as members of the United Allied Spare Parts Dealers Association (UASPADA), took to the streets to protest against what they termed “gross misappropriation of funds and abuse of office” by its interim executive committee.

The chairman of the association, Mr. Bartholomew Achukwu, had written to the Zone 2 Police Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, alleging that 11 members of the association were plotting to assassinate him over false allegations, and thereafter invited police officers from Abuja to interrogate the members based on the allegations.

But the protesters, who bore placards reading ‘we are saying no to a dictator and authoritarianism; 12 years as an interim leader and you still don’t want to step down,’ among others, marched to the Police Division in the complex, demanding that justice and equity be done.

They called on the Inspector General of Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to intervene in the matter, asking that activities of the executives be probed.

The DPO, who came to calm the protesters, said the police were on top of the situation. One of the protesters, Mr. Keziah Anazodo, told The Guardian that the embattled executive council had served arbitrarily for 12 years, during which it oversaw the building of a plaza in the complex, but that the allocation of stores and management of funds during the period had been shrouded in secrecy.

When contacted, Mr. Achukwu said there was no crisis in the association, and that those protesting were not members of UASPADA. “Those people are not members of UASPADA. There is no other executive except mine. It is one government. Someone cannot be in Cotonou and claim to be ruling Nigeria. We have no factions,” he said.

Also, Alaba Int’l Market traders yesterday shut down a new generation bank in the market over an encroachment of land belonging to one of their own. The traders in a peaceful protest paralysed the activities of the bank for some hours.

Chairman of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association, Paul Chijioke, said after the encroachment was reported last year, the bank promised to settle out-of-court and compensate the owner, but till date, nothing has been done.

“As law abiding citizens, we don’t want to take laws into our hands, that is why we are calling on the management to respect the agreement we had with them.”



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