The expansive Auto Spare Parts and Machine Dealers Association (ASPAMDA) complex, off the Lagos-Badagry expressway, is agog currently, as members prepare to elect new executives later in the month.
Besides the billboards of aspirants littering the front of the market, rallies and campaigns have also reached a feverish state. Vehicles with mounted loudspeakers move around to sell their aspirants and their manifestoes to the electorate. Many shops have turned to campaign offices.
A popular businessman in the market, Mr. Ernest Ogbogu Christopher, said the election should simply be about capacity.
“This election should be about people who have what it takes to lead us, especially for the office of president. ASPAMDA needs to move to the next level in terms of leadership and appointing the right president at this time. Most of those who led us in the past were uneducated, and you know we need somebody who is educated and credible,” he said.
The campaign manager of one of the presidential aspirants who craved anonymity toed Christopher’s line of thought.
He said, “Look at the sorry state of the road in front of our market, it is a total disgrace to us and an indictment of our leadership. I am of the conviction that, even if the Badagry Expressway is bad, we should be able to take care of the road leading directly to our market. I say this with every sense of responsibility because they say the cover of the product is important in judging the quality of the product.”
Mr. Sesan Adeniye, one of the presidential aspirants, said he was running for office on the basis of capacity. He said the association was in need of somebody who was credible, hardworking and had capacity to run its affairs.
“I am one of the founding fathers of the association and, without sounding immodest, I am in the best position to lead ASPAMDA at this time.
“The truth is that, without capacity, vision and integrity, you cannot move any association or group forward. I have gone through the manifestoes of other aspirants, show me one of them who is talking about the state of Badagry Expressway, which is very important to us and how to tackle the issue.
“Our founding fathers have done well. My ambition is to raise the bar of leadership of this association, build capacity, grow small businesses, forge closer relationship with our foreign partners and other stakeholders, among others,” he said.