By Moshood Adebayo
Irked by the menace of street trading and its attendant risks, Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has read the riot act to market women and men in the state.
Ambode gave the warning at a meeting with leaders of Agbado Oke-Odo Market, in Agbado Oke Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) at the Lagos House, Ikeja
Lamenting the activities of traders, which he described as not only constituting environmental nuisance, Ambode said the bad habit could no longer be tolerated, as it disturbs others, urging them to desist or face the full wrath of the law, through closure of such market or markets.
The governor, who said the warning to Agbado Oke-Odo traders also applies to other markets in the state, added: “Any market where their traders are blocking the road and constituting menace to others will be shut down till further notice,” he said. Ambode said aside causing avoidable and needless traffic, “the traders are also in the habit of dumping refuse on the road, thereby causing environmental and health hazards.”
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tunji Bello, the governor beamoned activities of the traders, whom he said have become adamant.
“The market has become a stumbling block, particularly to those using the road. Traders have blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, to the extent that even contractors working there don’t have place to work because they have taken over the area. They cause gridlock and people coming from Ota or from Abule Egba don’t have the passage to connect other areas of the state. We have warned them consistently but, we are yet to get any result. That is why we have summoned this meeting.”
Bello said the meeting was to call the market leaders to order and give them the last warning, saying 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. The SSG said although the government was not interested in shutting down markets, “but it would have no choice than to wield the big stick if traders continue to constitute themselves as menace to other road users.
In her response, Iyaloja Araromi Oke-Odo Market, Mrs Dupe Shonola and Babaloja General of Agbado Oke-Odo Market, Alhaji Abiodun Kosoko, said they had warned the traders who are selling on the road to desist but to no avail.