The Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (PAPDAN) will begin a shutdown of Ikeja Computer Village from next Monday to protest alleged harassment of business owners at the nation’s leading technology market cluster during yesterday’s surprise raid by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Iyke Nwosu, President, Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (PAPDAN)”]Nwosu confirmed that PAPDAN’s 5000-member businesses in Ikeja Computer Village would shut down their business as from Monday to protest the alleged harassments by the government agency, SON.[/blockquote]
The protest shutdown of business from Monday comes just as the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), the umbrella body of the market condemned what it describes as the “harassment of the leadership of PAPDAN” during the Saturday morning market raids by Policemen and SON over alleged counterfeit products raids in Ikeja Computer Village.
Efforts by Technology Times to get the comments of SON at the time of this report have so have so far been unsuccessful in the wake of the organisation’s clampdown, which affected commercial activity in the market and adjoining roads around Ikeja, the capital of Nigeria.
John Oboro, Secretary of CAPDAN, the umbrella group of businesses in Ikeja Computer Village, while reacting to Saturday morning raid by SON flayed what he called the “intimidation of the leadership of PAPDAN” by the government agency.
Oboro, who spoke exclusively with Technology Times in a phone interview, said that while the association does not condone the activities of counterfeiters in the market, the excessive use of force and intimidation of the leadership of PAPDAN and other legitimate businesses by law enforcement agencies “is condemnable.”
According to him, CAPDAN has partnered with SON in the past to rid the market of fake and counterfeit products and such efforts have been yielding fruit.
“But we condemn what SON and the policemen did in the market today by harassing the leadership of PAPDAN, legitimate business owners and innocent Nigerians and causing confusion in the market”, the CAPDAN Secretary said on Saturday.
According to the CAPDAN executive, the alleged sporadic shooting and confusion caused by police officials that carried out the raids “were uncalled for.”
To press home its grievance over the actions of the SON officials, PAPDAN has said that it will commence a shutdown of business in Ikeja Computer Village, “until our grievances are addressed by the appropriate authorities.”
Iyke Nwosu, President of PAPDAN told Technology Times in an exclusive interview at the market on Saturday that the association has petitioned law enforcement authorities and several government agencies to protest the alleged intimidation of members of the association by SON.
Nwosu confirmed that PAPDAN’s 5000-member businesses in Ikeja Computer Village would shut down their business as from Monday to protest the alleged harassments by the government agency, SON.
Meanwhile, in separate interviews with Technology Times, Iyke Nwosu, President of PAPDAN and some other members of the association offered their accounts of what transpired during the Saturday raids by a combined team of SON officials and men of the Nigerian Police:
Technology Times (TT):Please, can you give us a detailed account of what happened this morning in the market?
Iyke Nwosu: I wasn’t in the market this morning, because I don’t come on Saturdays. I was preparing for a conference when the Task Force Chairman (of PAPDAN) called me that there was unrest in the market because there were about 100 armed policemen in the market intimidating people, spraying tear gas indiscriminately in the market and beating people and taking possession of some goods. So, I tried to hasten up to the market to see what was happening.
Nwosu: Like I told you earlier on, I wasn’t present when the incident happened. But the procedure is anytime any security agent is coming, they will have to take permission from the Police Post in the market but I don’t know if they did.