Published On: Tue, Jan 29th, 2013

Traders Lose Millions of Naira as Fashola Orders Closure of Suru-Alaba Market

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Babatunde Fashola

Traders in Suru-Alaba market in Ajeromi LGA of Lagos state are losing millions of Naira daily as a result of the order for the closure of the market by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
Urhobotoday gathered from the the market source that those who are mostly affected by the closure of the market which took effect on Thursday are those traders selling perishable goods like meat, tomatoes, fresh fruits, plantain, fresh fish and peeper among others.

For instance tomatoes and pepper seller simply identified as Mama Iyabo told Urhobotoday that unknown to her that the market would be under lock on Thursday, she had bought her wares worth N150,000 over the night hoping to sell it the next day but was prevented from doing her business when she resumed at the market and discovered that KAI had locked the market.
“As I am talking with you now, I do not have anything on me home and away. I borrowed part of the money of which I bought my wares yesterday which is getting spoit because of the locking of the market. KAI officials who locked the market said the order was from Alausa. The market is not dirty. I wonder why they have decided to lock the market and put us in perpetual poverty and debt,” she lamented, just as she appealed to those at Alausa to have mercy of God and open the market so that she could retrieve some of her wares.
The case of a meat seller simply identified as Tijani was quite pathetic. Unknown to him and his colleagues, they have already butchered three cows for sell that early in the morning, but was surprised that when they brought their meat to the market from the abattoir they met the market locked by KAI. All attempts to convince KAI official about the implication of their action to their business fell in deaf ears.
“What we did was to consult our colleagues in other market where we took our meat to for sale. But the situation we found ourselves made us to sell at lost hence the meat were sold at give away price so as to avoid them from getting spoilt. I lost about N200, 000,” Tijani complain.
The story is the same thing for those selling fruits, plantain, pepper and other perishable commodities.
Those Urhobotoday spoke to could not say exactly what the KAI official is looking.
Mama Edosa who lost over N100,000 as a result of the destruction of her plaintain said “The market is very clean as we take it upon ourselves to clean the market every day. We do not wait for Thursday environmental day before cleaning the market. So I do not see the reason for locking the market.”
Urhobotoday findings however revealed that the KAI officials must have locked up the market because of attachment shops built at the front of the market facing Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
But a trader in the market who prefer anonymity argued that the construction of shops do not warrant locking a whole market, stressing that the best thing KAI would have done is to destroy the attachment stores instead of locking the market and putting the poor masses in starvation.
“Well, do you know how much people have lost because of this unceremonious locking of the market? The attachment which they claimed is responsible for the locking of the market was constructed under the instruction from Alausa. Why are these people punishing common people who are struggling to survive,” HE lamented?
When Urhobotoday visited the market, it was under lock and chain with KAI officials seen pursuing traders around the vicinity of the market. Signs are there showing that the attachment shops said to be responsible for the locking of the market have been demolished.
Attempts to get across to KAI officials to explain failed as those present refused to talk to our reporter.

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