Alhaja Iyabo Ahmed, the Iyaloja (women market leader) of Mile 12 market has pleaded with the Lagos state government to rethink its plans to relocate the market.
The government has been looking to relocate the market following clashes between Yoruba and Hausa traders in the area last month which led to numerous deaths. The government of Ogun state is offering marketers a portion of land in the Ogere area, a Lagos/Ogun border, which is currently being upgraded for their use.
Despite the solutions offered, Iyabo Ahmed says the government should think about the welfare of the traders before forcing them to relocate. She noted that the market had been in existence for 30 years which is symbolic to its location and most of the customers are from Lagos.
Moving the market she says will cause traders to lose their customers. She told newsmen: “We regret the unfortunate incident that culminated in this situation and we are pleading with our amiable governor to pardon us. It will not happen again.
“We don’t want to relocate from Lagos, it’s our main market for years past. Lagos is where the consumers are located so any relocation from Lagos will really not measure up to what we are getting in Lagos. “While, we are ready to comply with the relocation plan of the state government, we are pleading that the new site should not be too remote for us in order to have easy access to our customers, we are pleading with Governor Ambode.”
The market leader however urged the state government to ban okada riders from the area as their activities have caused a lot of clashes in the area.
After much pleading, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday, ordered the immediate re-opening of the Market following an agreement reached with all the Stakeholders involved in the operation of the Mile 12 Market. There are suggestions that the Lagos state government is not keen on moving the market to Ogun state.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said “The re-opening was as a result of the outcome of the stakeholders’ meeting comprising of market men/women, traditional leaders in the community, residents and Community Development Associations, CDAs.”
The major concessions between the state government and stakeholders for reopening the market include:
- Relocation of the Market to another suitable location as the existing market can no longer contain the traders
- Bans on the use of Okada in the area, co-existence among all ethnic groups in the market and
- Co-existence among all ethnic groups in the market and environs.
Others are: Removal of all shanties and illegal attachments/structures within the market area, market operation to be confined to the market area, no street trading and with the promise to trade in a clean and sterile environment.