Ogun: Prevent chaos, don’t render us jobless, Tarmac traders beg Abiodun - The People's Voice


Friday, March 8, 2024

Ogun: Prevent chaos, don’t render us jobless, Tarmac traders beg Abiodun

Ogun: Prevent chaos, don’t render us jobless, Tarmac traders beg Abiodun

By Bukola Badmus, Abeokuta

Traders in the popular phone and digital market in TARMAC located at Ibara area of Abeokuta, Ogun state capital have appealed to governor Dapo Abiodun to stop the alleged plan demolition of the market.

The phone dealers under the auspices of Mobile Phone Dealers and Technicians Association (MOPDATEC) who protested on Friday were seen with placards carrying various inscriptions such as “Save us Governor Dapo Abiodun”, “How do we survive”, “Save our business”, “ We are over 3,000 youths”, “Enough is enough”, “Save our souls honorable IWA”, “Help!!! Fashanu is oppressing us”, “Law is for the people”, “Save us SSG,” among others. 

Recall that the phone market situated at Ibara roundabout in Abeokuta had earlier been acquired over 10 years ago by the Ogun State Government for overriding public interest.

However, some of the traders who spoke with newsmen disclosed that they were recently approached by land grabbers, claiming to be original owners of the land,  asking them to vacate the market and endangering their business.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of MOPDATEC, Mr. Nnaekezie Ifeanyichukwu stated that over 3,000 traders in the market would be sent back to the streets if the government allowed the demolition exercise to take place.

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Ifeanyichukwu urged the state government to intervene by cautioning the land grabbers to sustain the source of livelihood of traders at the market.

He said, “The reason for this peaceful protest is that the case has been lingering for awhile now, because for over 15 years that we have been making sales here, we have never seen any disturbance but all of a sudden some people claimed to own the land where we have the technology hub, for what? Just yesterday, we found out that they came to barricade our market, that’s why we are protesting this morning.

“They (land grabbers) came with fake court papers about two months ago, but it was not legit. There was no demolishing order, no moving order they just came to tell us to vacate the land that it is owned by a private person, but we do not know who owns the land. They just brought judgment to us.

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“We want the state government to intervene, in all capacity we are over 3,000 youths here. What do they want us to do? What do they want us to eat? How do they want our families to feed?.We urge our able governor Dapo Abiodun to come to our aid immediately so that this issue will not escalate.

“The major effect of this is unemployment because you cannot close this market and over 3,000 youth go back into the streets and I’m sure Ogun state governor is not ready for that.”

Also speaking, a former chairman of the association, Comrade Adebayo Joseph a.k.a Pascal noted that the protest was to relay the grievances of the traders to Gov. Abiodun.

“We have been here since the first tenure of the former governor, Ibikunle Amosun he cleared this place for us as phone market and throughout his eight years tenure, we never encountered land grabbers. Immediately he left office, they started disturbing us till now. We hang under the Abeokuta South local government as our landlord and we pay our land rent, annual fees and trade permits to them but till now I don’t think they are at our rescue. We have been the ones suffering.”

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He appealed to Gov. Abiodun to step in and assist them since the local government is not responsive to their plight.

“We want governor Dapo Abiodun to rescue us, if truly he’s our fathe,r he is a sitting governor and he has the capacity to do it that is why we are calling on him.”

Also speaking, Ogunyemi Afolabi, General Secretary of the association, opined that the demolition exercise would increase the state’s unemployment rate.

The traders however, appealed to the member representing Abeokuta South Constituency II in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Igbalaye Wasiu Ayodele (IWA) to persuade the governor to acquire the land and put it to public use so that they can use and pay taxes on it.

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