By Israel Afolabi and Abdullahi Omotayo
Traders in the Akindeko Market, Alekuwodo Area, Osogbo, Osun State capital have defied the order of the state government, particularly the State House of Assembly that the market should be relocated to a new location.
While the government insisted that the market should be relocated to a new location assigned for it at Awosuru Area, with a view to ensuring the safety of the traders who are trading on the roadside, the traders have insisted that the original location was more preferable.
It would be recalled that the State House of Assembly has issued an order mandating the traders to relocate to the newly established market, latest by December 15, 2017, an ultimatum which has lapsed.
The order of the parliament was in pursuant to a meeting held with market men and women, officials of the state government and representatives of the Osogbo West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) the host local government of the market.
When OSUN DEFENDER team visited the Akindeko market during the week, though, the Executive members of the market, including the Iyaloja declined to speak with the medium, but some of the traders individually said that they were not ready to move to the new location.
A trader, who pleaded anonimity said, the traders were more comfortable in Akindeko, instead of the new location assigned for theny by the government, saying, “We are not moving to anywhere”.
“In fact, we are not aware of any relocation order by the government to Awosuru. There is no reason why we should be asked to move to where there are no commercial activities”.
Another trader also said that though, they are aware that there was an order that they should move to Awosuru, but it would take time for such order to take effect, saying that the traders were already entrenched in the old location.
He said: “If we should move to that market now where there are no structures in place, it would definitely affect our commercial activities, meaning that we will be at the receiving end”.
A member of the State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Israel Aloba in reaction to the traders’ position further appealed that the traders should respect the gentleman agreement reached with the government over the relocation order.
According to him, the traders should understand that the essence of the order for the relocation was to ensure the security of lives and properties of the traders, expand the economic base of the state and make the marketers more comfortable in the course of their business transactions.
“It is not an excuse to say that they will not move because there were no commercial activities there. The truth is that there cannot be since they have not started trading there, it is when they start trading at the new location that they will realise that the government means well for them.
“The traders should realise that they are our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and we will not do anything that would jeopardise their commercial activities, hence, the need for them to respect the constituted authority and yield to the order for the benefit of all”, he said.