BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Lagos State Government on Wednesday warned traders in the habit of displaying their wares on the road for sale beyond the confines of the market to desist henceforth or risk having such markets shut down till further notice.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who gave the warning at a meeting with leaders of Agbado Oke-Odo Market held at Lagos House in Ikeja, said display of the wares are causing traffic gridlock and other environmental nuisance.
He said that the activities of such traders have reached a level the State Government could no longer condone, hence the need for a final warning.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the leaders of markets in the State have been warned and counseled severally on the need to rein in their market men and women to desist from disturbing others through their trading activities on the roads, but some have remained adamant.
He said aside causing avoidable and needless traffic gridlock, the traders were also in the habit of dumping their refuse on the road, thereby causing environmental and health hazards.
Governor Ambode further said: “This is just to come and deliberate on the Agbado Oke-Odo Market because of the situation there. The market has become a stumbling block, particularly to those using the road. The traders have blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to the extent that even the contractors working there don’t have place to work because they have taken over the area.
“They caused a lot of traffic gridlock and people coming from Ota or from Abule Egba don’t have the road to connect other areas of the State. We have warned them consistently but we are yet to get any result.
“The meeting is basically to call them to order and give them the last warning. The idea initially was to shut down the market today but the Governor decided that we should give them just one week to put things in order,” Bello said
Responding on behalf of others, Babaloja Araromi Agbado Oke-Odo, Alhaji Mukaila Oyinlola, said as market leaders, they have warned the traders who are in the habit of selling on the road to desist from such act, but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears, adding that the resolve of government is a welcome development.
Also, Iyaloja Araromi Oke-Odo Market, Mrs Dupe Shonola and Babaloja General of Agbado Oke-Odo Market, Alhaji Abiodun Kosoko urged government to make examples of perpetrators of the illegal act, but called for expansion and modernization of the markets in the state.