With spare parts dealers in Akure, the Ondo State capital blaming Deji of Akure of moves to impose a chairman on the market, ADEWALE MOMOH writes on the crisis and parties involved
The situation in the major spare parts market in Akure, the state capital of Ondo, is becoming increasingly tense as a result of the leadership crisis that has enveloped the market.
The crisis in the market was said to have erupted due to the alleged ploy to foist an unpopular candidate as chairman of the market. With the traders vowing not to allow the alleged imposition, they pleaded with the authorities to act before the situation takes a dangerous twist.
The crisis in the market was as result of alleged imposition of the Chairman of the market, Kayode Oloand runfemi, by the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi. Olorunfemi is said to have been at the helm of affairs as market leader for the past 11 years.
Subsequently, some traders of the market are protesting what they termed “imposition of the Chairman” by Oba Aladelusi. Armed with placards of various inscriptions, the traders called on the authorities to wade into the crisis by removing the Chairman.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read “Let Peace Reign,” “Aketi Come To Our Rescue,” “Enough of Autocratic Ruling,” and “We Want Peace In Mojere Market”, among others.
They maintained that he had been installed as the traditional leader of the market and should relinquish the Chairmanship position after forcefully staying in office for the past11 years.
Speaking on behalf of the protesting traders, Kole Amueyinoge said: “We are tired of the continued imposition of Kayode Olorunfemi on us. “We have dragged him befor Deji of Akure who appealed to us to give him 12 months to wind up his tenure.”
According to him, the embattled chairman has steadfastly refused to vacate office despite spending more than a decade in office. Amueyinoge added that the traditional ruler was aiding the crisis in the market by insisting that the embattled chairman should continue in office.
He said “We also visited the local government authorities who organised a peace meeting with the traders and we all signed a peace accord with Kayode promising to vacate the seat last month (December), while an interim Committee was put in place.
“We are surprised to learn that the Committee has been halted and told not to conduct any elections until further notice while Kayode continues as our Chairman.
“We will resist Kayode to lead the traders in Mojere market; he has caused more atrocities in the market. “The Deji of Akure had installed him as the ‘Asoju Oba’ in the market Oloand should step aside from contesting for the Chairmanship position.
“The Deji of Akure should not meddle into the leadership of the market as we pay directly to the local government. “The local government is in charge of the market and we have informed them.”
The traders, however, appealed to the state governor and security agencies to wade into the matter before it assumed another dimension. But in his reaction, the embattled Chairman, Olorunfemi described the protesting traders as “lazy bones”.
According to him, he remains the Chairman of the spare parts market. He explained that there was no crisis in the market but said those protesting are sponsored thugs who have no business in the market. “I am not bothered by their noise; those making noise are not traders in the market. “I decided to stay off in order not to disrupt the peace in the market,” he said.
While reacting to the allegation of imposition, the palace, while speaking through the Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure, Mr. Michael Adeyeye, said though the market is a traditional market but said the traditional ruler of Akure has no special interest in any of the candidate jostling for the leadership of the place.
According to him, the traders had visited the palace to complain about the development and a caretaker committee that would steer the affairs of the market had been put in place before the election.
Adeyeye said: “The Deji of Akure only installed a traditional leader in the market and not Chairman. “He waded into the crisis and a caretaker Committee was set up to conduct an election.
“But the Committee realised that most traders who travelled during the last Christmas and New Year period have not returned and they had to postpone the election till March this year.”