Mrs Adenike Shittu, an aspirant for the Computers and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) Presidency has told Technology Times that elections held last month to choose new executives for the umbrella body of Ikeja Computer Village were marred by alleged irregularities and manipulations.
Shittu, who is also Managing Director of Mojoy Computers in Ikeja Computer Village told Technology Times in an exclusive interview that the alleged irregularities made her pull out of the race that saw Mr Ahmed Ojikutu emerge new President of CAPDAN.
Shittu withdrew from the race a few days to the election by unexpectedly announcing that she was not running for the CAPDAN Presidency after several months of campaigns and stakeholder engagements.
”When the electoral committee were sworn, what I believe is that they should carry all the presidential candidates along, tell them what they want, tell them what rules apply, tell them the modalities of the election so that they can work accordingly. Not once did the electoral committee talk to me”, Shittu told Technology Times in her office in Lagos, breaking her silence since her withdrawal from the race for the CAPDAN top job.
Soon after his election as the new President of CAPDAN, Ojikutu told Technology Times in an exclusive interview that he plans to move the market forward and when asked the reason for the surprise withdrawal by Shittu, he says that “I cannot speak for her.”
But while speaking with Technology Times, Shittu says that, ” I thought they will write us officially or call us to a meeting officially and tell us this is how much we have to pay to pick up the presidential form, this is how we want this election to be, these are the people who would vote, these are the people who cannot vote. That is what I expected. Nobody said a word, whatever I heard was on the street.
”And now people are asking me, why should you step aside? Why should you opt out? The whole process is defective and if it is defective, I can’t see a free and fair election taking place if who they (electoral committee) talk to all the time is just one candidate. That means the whole set-up is for just one candidate. So why should I play along? Why should I legalise their illegality? I look at it from the beginning, the Board of Trustees (BOT) was not involved, all the people that are supposed to be involved were not involved and I was wondering what kind of election would this be? And that’s one of the reasons I said No, I can’t be involved in this.”
The Mojoy MD further tells Technology Times that the Electoral Committee allegedly requested for a whooping sum of N250,000, to obtain a presidential form. She describes the amount as “too ridiculous” to obtain a presidential form for CAPDAN elections.
”Whoever is going to rule this market is going to work very hard and must not have the aim of gain. The person must be ready to serve selflessly and that was what I thought. When they were now asking for N250,000, I said, ‘what is the meaning of that?’ Are they going to pay us? Okay, some certain amount should be paid just to pick the form, but the amount they are asking us to pay is ridiculous.”
Speaking further in the interview, she says that ”I was like, who gave them this right to pick this amount? With whom did they consult? How did they arrive at this? Are we not all members? Are we not part of the electoral process? And if the entire committee is going to come up with such an amount, who is involved? And I saw that the whole thing was ‘wishy washy.’ It wasn’t what I expected” Shittu says expressing her concern over alleged irregularities surrounding CAPDAN electoral process.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]”And now people are asking me, why should you step aside? Why should you opt out? The whole process is defective and if it is defective, I can’t see a free and fair election taking place if who they (electoral committee) talk to all the time is just one candidate. That means the whole set-up is for just one candidate. So why should I play along? Why should I legalise their illegality?”[/quote]According to her, ”I have policy. I have principle by which I work and I know that I can’t at that stage throw away my very personality just because I want to become President by all means; by hook or crook. I heard some statements being made, there is going to be bloodshed if some people don’t win and all that. They are going to throw the market upside down and I don’t want a situation like that. I am here to do business first and foremost, and the reason I want to reorganise and make this market what it should be is because I want to do my business and prosper here. I want everybody to do their business and prosper.”
She alleges that the Electoral Committee was selling out forms to every “dick and harry” that are not members of CAPDAN.
”They were giving hawkers, passersby and all manner of people that are not into our business. So what are the modalities of the election? How do we recognise or know who is supposed to vote and who are the people that have been verified to vote? We don’t even know what is going on”, Shittu adds.
According to her, some of the conditions thrown to her if she wants to become the President of CAPDAN was to ensure that a particular unnamed member becomes the Broad of Trustee Chairman on her watch as President of the umbrella body of Ikeja Computer Village.
”I thought some people out there should be intelligent enough to know that Chairman BOT is not handpicked. Chairman BOT is voted for by the BOT members”, the Mojoy MD says.
When asked about what her input would be in fostering the growth of the market, Shittue tells Technology Times that ”I don’t know his (the new President) vision and I don’t know his aspiration. So how can I make it come into fruition? I am sorry because whatever I do now will be seen as interfering because it has gone beyond trying to remedy the situation in the market. It has become ‘dirty politics.’ Every sense of decency has been thrown away. Every sense of sincerity has been thrown away and any attempt by me to whatever would be seen as interfering and I won’t interfere. I will just watch.”
Speaking on areas in which some of the challenges encountered by business owners in the market Shittu decided not to be specific but says that ”there are a lot of them but when he (the new CAPDAN President) identifies them and asks my opinion I will give it. The point is that he has his blueprint, let him make it known and begin to work towards it and then when he needs help, he will ask for it.”
When asked if she would be interested to run for the CAPDAN President again, she answers Technology Times thus: ”No! I just wanted to salvage the present situation and since I am not given that opportunity, then (next election) I may be too busy and I know myself, whatever I am doing at any given time I give it all. ”