By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
As part of efforts to secure life and property in Lagos State, the government has beefed up security around all markets in the state.
Apart from security around markets, the state has begun to organise seminars for traders on how to be security-conscious.
Speaking at a one-day seminar on market sanitation and security for market leaders in the Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area, Owutu, the First Lady and wife of the state governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, charged market men and women to take charge of the security situation in markets across the state.
She also charged them to ensure proper sanitation of markets in the state for proper hygiene.
The Lagos First Lady said security and safety was included in the seminar because, for the first time, security had become everybody’s business and that as market men and women and community leaders, they must be conscious of the need to make security a priority.
‘When we see something, we must say something. For us in Lagos State, the state of insecurity in Nigeria today has also made it necessary to implement new measures such as ban of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada to sanitise the state and secure our people,’ she said.
‘Security is everyone’s business. Where there’s no law, there’s no offence. Gone are the days when they say Lagos is no man’s land. You cannot go to Ghana and throw paper on the floor and not face the consequence.’
According to Mrs Sanwo-Olu, security in the market is paramount and that there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the market, adding that the monitoring and evaluation of security activities in the market must be a daily affair and also in every community.
In her words: ‘As market men and women, you must take ownership of security of the markets. Like the #Sorosoke Generation, you have to speak up and speak out loud and clear when you suspect any suspicious movement or activity around you, especially the issue of strangers coming to the market to sleep overnight.
‘These and many others, including fire outbreaks in the market must be addressed in order to protect the investments of the people, going forward.’
In his welcome remarks, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs Dr Wale Ahmed said the timeliness of the seminar could not be overemphasised, especially after the recent inauguration of Lagos State Market Advisory Council (LASMAC), by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
‘This is chiefly one of the efforts of the state government to make Lagos State a 21st Century Economy and this, no doubt, is a proof that Mr Governor intends to leave no sector or individual behind in achieving the dream of, “A Greater Lagos”.
‘In our markets, at various Local Government and LCDAs, and in our communities; men and women of different ethnic and religious leanings, dwell happily together, in peace and cordial atmosphere, pursuing their daily businesses,’he said.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Belinda Oyeneye, advised market traders to ensure they improve personal hygiene and encouraged them to imbibe the culture of sorting at source, stressing that the “Waste to Wealth Initiative” by the state government has come to stay.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, adjudged Ikorodu division as the cleanest and appealed that traders should shun the use of cart pushers, outlawed in Lagos State.
He disclosed 240 bins are available for placement, stressing that it is very important for traders to find a space within markets for the placement of these bins.
Speaking also, Chairman/President General, Lagos State Market Advisory Council (LASMAC), Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, stated that traders should be conscious of their immediate environment by informing security operatives of any suspicious acts that could lead to breach of security. We must be our brothers keepers by reporting any suspicious acts in our neighbourhood, she stressed.
Panelists at the seminar took turns to speak on various topics ranging from the role of market leaders in security and safety in community policing, market sanitation, an effective tool for the well-being of traders and the general public; information management as a security tool in Lagos open markets; fire prevention and safety in markets and health talk on prevention.
The event was organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in conjunction with Ministry of Local Governemnt and Community Affairs.