It took the intervention of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohinmi, yesterday, to allow the campaign team of the People’s Democratic Party‘s (PDP) vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi and Lagos governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, into the Trade Fair complex.
The management of the sprawling business complex and the divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of the area prevented them from entering into the facility, forcing their convoy to wait in the scorching sun for about two hours.
Later, market leaders, who spent much of that time making frantic phone calls to get the strange order revoked, came to announce that the commissioner of police had given a counter-order that they should be allowed to campaign in the premises.
In contrast to the treatment they suffered at Trade Fair-ASPAMDA, the PDP flag-bearers had received a rousing reception at the Alaba International Electronics Market earlier in the morning.
However, when the PDP team drove in a formidable convoy of about 10 vehicles, it was stopped on the access bridge into the Trade Fair complex.
In reference to the access road to the market, Agbaje said at Alaba: “We shall complete this road and bring your nightmare to an end. Your container will not be falling on this road again.”
He promised that the PDP, if voted into power in Lagos State, would improve conditions in the market to ensure its over two million daily patronage shoot up to five million.
With the police commissioner’s order, Obi and Agbaje immediately left their vehicles and walked through the place, shaking hands with citizens, and the hailing crowd chanted after the strolling duo.
Traders and residents, who had borne the brunt of the uncompleted and traffic-ridden Apapa-Badagry Highway for the past 10 years, screamed their desire for a change in government.
“No more bad road! No more container falling and No lazy youths.”
At the three venues in ASPAMDA where tents had been arranged for the visitors, traders and supporters burnt heaps of brooms.
Obi spoke to the crowd in Igbo language, encouraging traders to vote for a party whose candidates were business gurus and had the capability to turn the economy around.
He said Nigeria’s fortunes would receive a boost with the ticket of Atiku Abubakar and Obi at the federal level and Agbaje and Haleemat in the state.
“On February 16, vote umbrella on the ballot for president, Senate and House of Representatives. And do the same on March 2,” Obi said.