Mile 12 Market: We don’t want to relocate, women market leader pleads with Ambode
The Mile 12 Market is located in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area, along Lagos –Ikorodu Road. It is noted for perishable food items such as: pepper, onions, yams, fruits, tomatoes, yam flour, vegetable and palm oils, cash crops and other numerous edible food items. The market is about 30 years old. The market consists of traders from different ethnic groups in Nigeria. These include:
Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Kanuri, Ibibio, Fulani, Efik, Edo, Igala, Idoma, and Ebira just to mention a few. All these traders warmly interact with themselves. On a daily basis, millions of naira is generated there.
This is so because items from the market are sold to myriads of local buyers as well as some exported beyond the shores of the country at considerable prices too.
|Ogun State govt, traders move|
Consequently, the traders since the closure of the market had lamented over the attendant economic hardship it has brought upon them and the customers at large. In the wake of the crisis, Ambode announced plans to relocate the market permanently to a site yet to be determined.
The announcement shocked the leadership of the market which made them to embark on serious lobbying on the need for the governor to have a rethink. They assured that such incident will not re-occur.
Lasting solutions to the frequent clashes However, while government and traders engaged in talks on how to find the lasting solutions to the frequent clashes in the area, the neigbouring Ogun State government quickly, offered the displaced marketers a portion of land at Ogere area, a Lagos/Ogun border, which is currently being upgraded for their use.
Though, moves were on by some traders to relocate, majority opposed to the idea due to the long distance and probable loss of advantage of proximity to customers. Alhaja Iyabo Ahmed, the Iyaloja (women market leader) of Mile 12 Market, while speaking with newsmen on the development, expressed reservation about the idea of being relocated from Mile 12 to neighbouring states.
According to her, “We regret the unfortunate incident that culminated into this situation and we are promising 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 Iyaloja, who also backed plans by state government to ban okoda operation in the area, urged the government to give adequate time and period for traders to plan relocation movement, “because any hasty movement will negatively affect us the traders and especially, customers.”
Also, it was gathered that the move by Ogun State did not augur well with Lagos, which viewed it as an attempt to hijack the market from Lagos, hence, the decision by the state government to hold a stakeholders ‘meeting.
However, after much pleading, Ambode penultimate, Thursday, following agreement reached with all the Stakeholders involved in the operation of the Mile 12 Market . ordered the immediate re-opening of the Market.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, “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.”
Some of the major agreements arrived with a consensus amongst the various stakeholders include: Relocation of the Market to another suitable location as the existing market can no longer contain the traders, ban on the use of Okada in the area, 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 within the market area, no street trading and with the promise to trade in a clean and hygienic environment. Ayorinde further stated that the stakeholders agreed that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that their various businesses and trades can thrive.
He assured that Lagos is a home for all, and the state government will continue to provide the enabling environment for every investor to thrive, as the promise of the Governor to run a 24 hours economy is sacrosanct. Business activities under close security watch:
However, since the resumption of business activities in the market, palpable fear still pervades among traders as the normal beehive of activities was yet to pick up. Commercial motorcyclists The heavy presence of joint military squad, deployed to provide security was conspicuous as they positioned themselves in strategic areas keeping an Eagle eye on traders and customers.
Commercial and traffic activities were orderly, as against the norms of chaos. Though, the enforcement on the ban of commercial motorcyclists, popularly called “Okada” is under implementation, Okada riders still operate in some streets.
Meantime, the new Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Superintendent of Police, SP, Saidi Egbeyemi, has vowed to deal decisively with any erring Okada rider caught flouting the state government ban on their activities.
The Taskfoce boss through the Public Relations Officer of the unit, Mr. Adebayo Taofiq, said any caught would have his okada impounded and the rider prosecuted appropriately.