Story by Oluwaseyi Omojaro
Democracy, the right to choose was demonstrated by the Traders at Ogunpa Central International Market Ibadan on February 1, 2018 when they elected the president of the Traders Association to run the affairs of the Market for next 4years. The keenly contested election was between two popular traders in the market, Alhaji Nurudeen Inaolaji, the incumbent, who was running for second term and his main challenger Prince Gbenga Atitebi.
The election at Ogunpa Central International Market had all the impressions of a general election in Nigeria as all trading activities were suspended on the Election Day. Officials from the Ibadan South East and West local government were present including all security agencies from the regular Police, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, MAN “O” WAR and Department of State Security (DSS) to ensure free and fair electoral process with maximum security during the election.
Prince Gbadebo Adenikan, Chairman, Ogunpa Market Electoral Commission (OMEC) set the tone for the election after his brief remark before the commencement of the electoral process at exactly 10:00am after agents of both candidates had inspected all voting materials.
The candidates were involved in the usual election intrigues, campaign, intense lobby, trade off and appealing for votes across the 14 zones in the market to persuade for votes the 30 delegates selected from each zone and constitutionally allowed to elect the president on the Election Day. The 14 zones in the market namely Ajigbotoluwa Zone, New court road, Alaja Zone, Ori-ade Zone, Akilapa, Iron cutters, Tyre cutters, Idi igi, Ruth Complex, Operinde, Amupekun, Ojude Joseph, Ori-odo, Unity Zone filed out in alphabetical order to cast their votes in an open ballot system
After hours of voting by all 390 delegates from the 14 zones, counting of votes was witnessed by the agents of the 2 candidates and results was announced by the chairman of the electoral commission to bring the process to a peaceful conclusion.
Number of all delegates 390
Total Votes cast 390
Void Votes 33
Alhaji Nurudeen Inaolaji 288
Prince Gbenga Atitebi 69
OMEC Chairman declared Alhaji Nurudeen Inaolaji the Candidate with highest number of votes as the elected president of the Ogunpa Central International Market Ibadan.
All Photos by Olawale Awe for IbadanCity Announcer