Shuts Iroko market, considers palliatives for traders
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has ordered the immediate reopening of Shasha market.
This is as the Governor also orders the immediate closure of the market annex which was established in Iroko while the Shasha crises broke out.
The Governor also said he awaits assurance and advise from the security agencies enforcing curfew in the market before he would lift the curfew.
The decision is coming barely two weeks after the market was shut down due to crisis between traders that led to the loss of lives and property in the Akinyele local government area of the state.
The Iroko market has being fingered by the Shasha traders to have being established by suspected individuals who are fuelling the Shasha market crisis in order to create a competition for the Shasha market.
Makinde who earlier dropped the hint of the reopening also gave the directive during a meeting with the leaders of the two warring communities at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
According to the governor, the decision to reopen the market was necessitated by the declining economic situation and the peculiarities associated with the state, adding that he would reopen the market for the traders to continue with their commercial activities.
He said: “Considering the economic situation and the peculiarities we have with us, I have heard what you said, and we will immediately reopen the Shasha market. They will bring bulldozer to the market today.
“When my brother Governors visited Seriki Shasha’s palace, while we were working around, I realised that both the people I saw at Seriki’s place and those I net at Baale’s place were not happy because they have been deprived of doing their job.
“If you look at Oyo State, even when the COVID-19 was at its peak, I decided not to shut our market places because I know and also explained to the leadership of the country at the national level that in our state, we have people that the proceeds from what they get today will determine if they will eat tomorrow or not.
“Since peace more or less returned to the market and the community, we have given the go ahead that the market should be repeoned.”
“I have also given instructions for some palliative works to be done. I have instructed that solar light be installed in the market anytime of the day or night; we will see what is going on in the market.”
“The situation in our environment, economic activities are really very germane and basic. We have people out there, what they will make today, is what will determine whether they will eat tomorrow or not. And when you shut the place down, and people get hungry and again angry, then you precipitate another set of issues. So closing the market for an extended period of time, is actually not sustainable.”
While ordering close down of the Iroko market, the governor equally instructed relevant agencies to immediately restructure the market and fix up solar light around the community to enhance activities around the market, adding that government would consider some of the affected traders for palliatives.
“The Iroko market will remain shut. From what we heard, the promoters of that market were actually part of the people causing confusion and causing problem at Shasha market. We will take a long term view of Iroko market, but in the meantime, it remains shut”, Makinde added.
Speaking on the existing curfew placed on the market, the governor explained that: “You can see the CP and the DIG; they are the ones maintaining the curfew. And if they tell me peace has returned to the community, the curfew will also be lifted. But security agencies will still dominate the area.”
The Deputy Inspector- General Police, (in charge of Southwest), DIG David Falawiyo who was in the meeting with the state Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, noted that the police would continue to maintain surveillance and presence in the market, while ensuring that peace and tranquility prevail.
Earlier, the Baale of Shasha, Akinade-Ajani and the Seriki of Shasha, Haruna Maiyasin, in their separate remarks, unanimously apologised on behalf of the traders and warring factions on the ugly incident at the market and pledged to ensure peaceful coexistence and brotherliness reign in the Shasha market henceforth.