Alaba market leadership crisis deepens
The lingering crisis over the leadership of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, recently took a swing as the founding President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Fancy and Furniture Dealers Association (FFDA), Chief Alex Emechebe, has lampooned those clamouring for the removal of Emeka Mozoba as the President of the association, saying that Mozoba, the current Chairman of FFDA, remains the authentic Chairmed Traders Association.
He insisted that Mozoba, like other past leaders, must be allowed to serve out his full tenure and would not be intimidated or stampeded out by any group of persons under whatever nomenclature. He added that, “the call for his removal from office was mischievous and unacceptable to the members of FFDA.”
Emechebe described those behind the call for Mozoba to step down, as those who had no true knowledge about the history of the formation of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association, even as he posited that, “no one can remove Mozoba as the President because it is the turn of FFDA to head the association.”
Speaking to Daily Sun in his office in Lagos recently, he disclosed how the association was formed in 1990 during the regime of Brig-Gen. Raji Rasaki as the military governor of Lagos State. He said, “during the time of Raji Rasaki as the military governor of Lagos State, there was a time Alaba International Market was closed down due to fracas betw was closed down due to fracas between some touts operating in the market and the police, which led to the destruction of Ojo police station, together with police vehicles.
“As leaders from various associations in the market then, we followed up the matter with keen interest, and while doing so, we discovered the need for all associations to come together under one umbrella to speak louder with one voice. That was how we formed Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association.”
Emechebe, who is also a member of Board of Trustees of the association noted that the association as a central union of all the associations in the market was created to protect the interests of traders, make the market environment safe and peaceful in order to attract customers from within and outside the country.
In his explanation, he stated that at the formation of the association, leaders from the five founding associations comprising Electrical, Electronics, Fancy and Furniture, Ifelodun and Alaba Modern Markets, decided that there would be no elections into leadership positions in the association. Rather, they adopted a rotational leadership structure among member associations. This, according to him, was to create opportunity for every member association to lead it at different times, but regretted that some cabals in the market who had no genuine interest in the development of the market, and protection of traders, were bent on creating trouble in the market. Speaking further, Emechebe revealed that since 1990 when the association was formed until recently when Mozoba became the chairman, no one from FFDA had ever served as the chairman of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association.
He said, “it is regrettable that each time it becomes the turn of FFDA to produce the chairman, leaders of other member associations would gang up to deny us the opportunity, even when some of them have held the chairmanship position two to three times.”
Furthermore, Emechebe stated that it was discriminatory and unacceptable for other member associations to deny the President of FFDA, Emeka Mozoba, the right to serve out his full tenure, even when other smaller associations that joined the central body much later, had tasted the chairmanship position of the association.
He accused those opposing Mozoba’s leadership of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association of pursuing “greedy and selfish interest, instead of working in line with the true visions and aspirations of the founding fathers of the.”