Eko Drive turns lot into exotic cars, art exhibition

Eko Drive, an outdoor and networking automotive expo, has debuted its first car exhibition in Lagos. Spread out across the parking floor of Alliance Française, the founders of Eko Drive – Ademide Osunsina, Imran Claud-Ennin and Sanjo Morgan..
Eko Drive

Eko Drive, an outdoor and networking automotive expo, has debuted its first car exhibition in Lagos. Spread out across the parking floor of Alliance Française, the founders of Eko Drive – Ademide Osunsina, Imran Claud-Ennin and Sanjo Morgan – creatively curated an indigenous car exhibition that celebrated the beauty of art and technology of cars.
Osunsina, a cybersecurity analyst, told The Guardian that the idea of the exhibition was not only an attempt to share his passion for cars, but to also create a safe space where a lot more young people could express their love for cars in different ways.

His words: “I want to see people actually having fun in cars in a safe environment. I’ve never been to an event that was very calm and showed off nice cars in a safe way.

“Tailored for everyone in the automotive industry, whether you drive a car or you just like the idea. I wanted to bring that together. I wanted to bring individuals who are very interested in the industry together and have them network in a safe, relaxed environment. So, Eko Drive, again, is just us coming together to give people unique experiences, where they can enjoy the automotive industry.”

In the building, multi-age audiences were faced with a collection of various classic and contemporary cars, creating a jaw-dropping display of more than 15 cars, including Mercedes Benz and BMW. Osunsina said his love for cars started at a very young age.

“I love cars since I know how to walk, essentially. I started driving probably when I was 10 years old, maybe the first car I ever had was a manual (Mitsubishi Eclipse),” he said.

During the exhibition, Morgan, a communication specialist, stated that the auto expo was to foster unity in the automotive industry, noting that car culture should not only be limited to the wealthy but for every demographic in the community.
“In the future, Eko Drive plans to have charity auctions, foundation runs and school children runs. But ideally, we want to be able to bring together a community of enthusiasts and give back to others who may not have quite as much in Nigeria,” Morgan said.

According to him, one of the goals of Eko Drive is to push the automotive culture in Nigeria, including cars that are being manufactured in the country.

“It’s not everyone that should be going out to import cars from Germany, England and United States of America. We have people manufacturing their vehicles here in Nigeria; so, it will be a huge opportunity to be able to push that,” he said.

In his address, Claud-Ennin, a creative producer, stated that the event was curated to shine light on the intertwined elements of culture, art and automobiles, with the aim to bring car lovers together and grow the country’s auto industry.

The organisers of the motor show also revealed plans to have multiple events in the coming year and to have a sister show across Nigeria and Africa at large.

The exhibition ended with activities ranging from live art painting sessions of vehicles to racing simulators for car enthusiasts and visitors to experience.

“These are critical conditions for peace. Election Management Bodies are major beneficiaries of your work. This is because elections and electoral activities cannot be successfully conducted in an atmosphere of violence. For this reason, INEC always appreciates the role of UNOWAS in our sub-region and the Sahel.

“At different fora, Electoral Commissions in West Africa and beyond have expressed concern about the impact of prevailing insecurity on the conduct of elections, particularly with regard to insurgency, banditry, and other forms of armed conflict.  Nigeria will be making two presentations at the Conference.

“We believe that your visit today will not only encourage us in our determination to conduct credible, transparent, inclusive, and verifiable elections but we will also share the outcome of our discussion with colleagues from other electoral commissions in West Africa and beyond.
“Since you arrived in Nigeria, we have followed your engagements with stakeholders. In particular, we appreciate your fervent appeal for support to the efforts of INEC to conduct peaceful elections. With just 81 days to the 2023 General Election, we have made tremendous progress in our preparations so far.”

He noted that this is the 7th consecutive General Election since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999.

“We are aware of the importance of our elections to Nigeria, our sub-region and the world. We assure you that the Commission will not fail the nation and the international community.

“We will continue to make incremental improvement to our electoral process supported by the deployment of appropriate and relevant technology that will make voter accreditation and result management more credible and transparent.”

Earlier, the head of Delegation who is the deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel and Officer in Charge of UNOWAS, Ms Giovanie Biha, said there is a lot to do in terms of deepening democracy across the region and democratic governance hence the success of the election is crucial.

Biha who said the election is very crucial to the west African region, added, “INEC has become an inspiration to other countries in the region.”

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