Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:02 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Traders of the popular Mile 12 Market in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria have agreed that the market should be relocated from the area and that the government should ban okada riders from operating.
At a joint news conference by leaders of the market in Alausa, Ikeja on Wednesday, the traders said they had resolved and agreed to work with the Lagos State Government to enhance peace in the area.
Addressing the conference on behalf of the various groups in the market, Alhaji Shehu Usman, Financial Secretary, Perishable Foodstuff Association, Mile 12 Market said the traders had agreed to work with the government to ensure ban on the use of okada as a means of commercial transportation in the area because of their flagrant disobedience of traffic laws in addition to causing road accidents.
“Okadas were responsible for the breakdown of law and order that predicated the present crisis. We have agreed for peaceful co-existence among all ethnic groups in the area. We have agreed for the removal of all shanties and blighted areas within the area which may be harbouring miscreants and eliminate their illegal activities.
“These shanties are illegal structures which are unsuitable for human habitation and are prone to landslides and other environmental problems. Their removal will greatly enhance the security of lives and properties in the neighbourhood,” he said.
Usman added that in view of the fact that the Mile 12 Market had been in existence for decades and had outgrown its present location and available structure, it had become necessary for its relocation to another suitable and more convenient location within the state.
“The market executives will dialogue further with the state government on the relocation programme which will help increase the economic growth and development, provide better infrastructure and reduce traffic congestion,” he stated.
While regretting that crisis erupted in the market, leading to the loss of lives and properties, Usman denied that the crisis was not a fight between the Hausas and the Yorubas but between okada factions in the area.
At the press conference were the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde; Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami and others.
The market is likely to be re-opened today.