The leadership crises rocking Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre at Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market in Mushin, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, took another dimension recently as the embattled former president of the market, Chief Jonathan Okoli, dragged the executives to a dreaded shrine in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.
Okoli filed a petition at the shrine called Ofufe Ntoko Shrine located in Ufuma area of Anambra State, after which the chief priest ordered the market leaders to appear before it or face the consequences.
Okoli had taken the battle to various courts and the National Assembly before he recently went to the Supreme Court to seek for reinstatement.
While the matter is still pending at the Supreme Court, he went and filed a petition at the shrine asking the executives to vacate their offices.
The executives were ordered to appear before the shrine on 2 August, 2015 to explain why they should not vacate the offices for Okoli who is insisting that he was persecuted, intimidated and forced out of office before the expiration of his tenure.
The traders denied Okoli’s claim, saying he wanted to perpetuate himself in power which resulted in crises that lasted for five years before Mushin Local Government council and Lagos State Government intervened and conducted an election.
Some of the executives invited by the chief priest of the shrine, Chief Ezeoba, are the union Chairman, Mr Cyril Onyemaechi; General Secretary, Anthony Nwanzelibe; Assistant Secretary, Victor Nnaji; Okey Alusi and others.
Confirming the development, Onyemaechi said the summons letter was brought to the market and served the executives to appear on that day.
He expressed shock and said he had informed the other traders about the development.
Onyemaechi said he was yet to decide on what to do because he did not anticipate that Okoli would go to that length because of power.
He explained that he became the union’s chairman after he won an election adjudged free and fair and which was witnessed by Mushin council and the state government officials.
He regretted that just as he was battling to bring about peace in the market, this matter had resurfaced again.
Onyemaechi said he would make wide consultations before taking a decision on the matter because of its sensitive nature.
The General Secretary, Nwanzelibe said he was surprised that Okoli would go to that extent to cause panic in the market.
He said an appropriate decision would be taken and Okoli should not blame the executives for his problem.
He noted that it was a trap by Okoli to disorganize the executives by taking them to the shrine.
This latest development is causing panic in the market as some of the executives are threatening to resign.
Some of the traders expressed shock over it and said the leadership crises had taken another dangerous dimension and needed intervention by Igbo leaders in the state.
One of the traders who simply identified himself as Sunday said those summoned must appear otherwise the oracle will see it as disobedience and it may harm them to prove its efficacy.
It was not yet clear wether the affected executives will appear before the shrine as demanded by the chief priest.