Business upbeat as Ladipo auto market leader returns 6 years after

Peace has finally returned to Ladipo Auto Market in Matori area of Lagos state , as their former leader, Jonathan Chibuzor Okoli, who returned to the market on Tuesday was embraced by all the traders in the market.

Okoli, a former Chairman of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Association(AIIMA) at the market, had been away from business, following series of leadership crises which had rocked the market since 2012.

Speaking shortly after his reception, Chairman of Aguiyi Ironsi International Market Traders Association (AIIMTA) Hon. Cyril Onyemaechi said all the traders have received their former leader with open arms, stressing that the next thing for them is to make sure that they work together and make the place a better for all.

Onyemaechi said,” I have been working to ensure that there is peaceful co-existence in the market. Even during the time of crises, I single handed worked to make sure there is a lasting peace because I know if there is peaceful atmosphere, the people are bound to experience growth which will definitely impact on their businesses positively”.

He also pointed out that such peaceful initiative will make the environment a thriving place for business as well as making it a more attractive place for both international and local visitors who come into Lagos State to enjoy.

In his response, Okoli said as a businessman he has come back to the market to revive his business, noting that, should they pay him all his money, he no longer has interest in the traders’ leadership.

He however, pointed out that as a stakeholder, if the association seeks for his advice, he will always give them elderly advice.

Advising all the traders to shun cultism and other vices, Okoli said the youths in the market particularly need to be re-orientated.

He also advised them to desist from all forms violence, emphasizing that they should rather discuss and dialogue whenever there is any issue.

Okoli said he has seen reasons to resolve whatever issues that has been on and that he was invited by the “Paramo” family at Eko Hotel recently where the whole matter was resolved.

Recounting the genesis of the crises, Okoli stated that “the indigene of the market wanted to hijack the existing leadership from the dominant Igbo and then I stood for my people that it would never happened.”

“The money involved was the trade permit we gather for Mushin Local Government which we collected, paid into their account. We have the statement of the account, and the amount was about N12, 160 500 million but they chose to hide under it to destroy me. But the good thing is that the traders have tested my leadership and the existing leadership, so they can attest to it”, he explained.

It would be recalled that the same Okoli was beaten to a state of coma at the market premises when he returned to resume normal business activities in early April last year.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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