The Executive Chairman of International Market Association Electronics, Alaba, Evangelist Paulinus Ugochukwu , has described the giant stride which the market has made in the last 40 years as a true test of the Igbo man`s can-do spirit.
Speaking in a welcome address to commemorate the 40th anniversary of what has turned out to be the biggest electronics market in Africa, he said that when the founding fathers of the market came to where the market is currently situated, it was a big forest.
According to him, instead of running away, the founding fathers set up a 13-man committee to find a path way to the daunting challenge that confronted them.
He said that the committee brainstormed and came up with a blueprint which resulted to what the market is today.
He said that what the pioneers did some decades ago has shown that impossibility exists only in the minds of the weak, adding that with strong will and determination, nothing in the world is impossible.
He said that the market which started with only 13 shops in 1978, today has over a million shops and has also become one of the most popular electronics markets in the world.
He commended the past chairmen of the market for their role in making the market what it is today.
His words: “Alaba market is a child of circumstance because we went there as refugee because we were displaced in our former place of business. But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. When our founding fathers came to Alaba, it was a very big forest .But they were not discouraged. They believed in the philosophy of biblical Samson that out of the strong comes honey .They went to work .Their courage, hard work and determination is what we are celebrating today”.
In his words of exaltation at the occasion, Bishop Humphrey Erumaka, the General Overseer of Wordbase Assembly, who was the spiritual father of the day, advised the executive chairman of the market not to allow the candle that was lit 40 years ago to burn out in his hands.
According to the bishop, every leader should be concerned about how he would be remembered when he is no more in office.
He said that every leader must try to fulfill the purpose of his leadership, so that when he is no more there, people would not say, good riddance to bad rubbish.
“At every point in time God raises a leader to accomplish a certain task. In 1973, when the Arab world wanted to exterminate Israel from the surface of the earth, God used Richard Nixon, the then president of the United States to save Israel and after that he was forced to resign as a result of the Watergate scandal. But Nixon would forever be remembered as the man who saved the nation of Israel from extermination. So, as a leader, what would you be remembered for? What problems have you solved with your leadership position? When you are not around, who would miss you? Would people say if only you were here, this or that would not have happened just as Martha said to Jesus, if only you were here, my brother Lazarus would not have died.”
Some of the eminent personalities at the anniversary included the former governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, former Minister of Information, Prof. Walter Ofonagoro, former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro and the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, among others.