Traders Protest In Sagamu Over Demolished Burnt Market - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, January 28, 2021

Traders Protest In Sagamu Over Demolished Burnt Market

... Market reconstruction Already Captured In 2021 Budget - state government 

From Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta 

Traders in their hundreds stormed roads and streets in Sagamu, Ogun state,  protesting the demolition of their market in Sabo area of the town by the state government without putting  alternative arrangement in place for them. 

The traders under the aegis of Amalgamated Traders Association said they have lost an "aggregate of over half a billion naira" in the last one year by remaining largely idle or under engaged, following lack of place to sell and warehouse their goods.

The ever vibrant Sabo market, Sagamu, was gutted by fire this period last year and days after the inferno,  the state government pulled  the entire market down with a promise to reconstruct it immediately but the place had remained bare since. 
However,  the state government said the reconstruction  of the Sabo market has already been captured in the 2021 budget. 

But the traders who also took the protest march to the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland,  Oba Babatunde Ajayi, said many of them took loans from cooperatives and microfinance banks to run their trade  in the market, lamenting that they have today not only been left in penury but also exposed to routine harassment by the lenders due to inability to pay back. 

 The representative  of the market traders, Mrs. Oluwafemi Ogunowo, who spoke on behalf of others  said that the traders have been exposed to untold hardship,  adding that  some of their members  have died out of frustration and inability to  pay for healthcare service. 

Mrs Ogunowo  appealed to the government to make good its pledge to reconstruct the market  soon and save them from further sufferings.

"The entire place is bare and unprotected from the elements.  The sun beats us here, we inhale dust on daily basis, the perishable goods are destroyed by the sun and dust and we have no where to warehouse them. It hurts our businesses, means of livelihoods and health.  Some have died out of frustration.  Many of us  borrowed money to trade  and we can no longer pay our lenders as the place where  we  generate money  has been demolished," she said. 

At the Akarigbo palace, they urged the monarch to plead with the state government on  their behalf to rebuild the market  quickly and bring them back to productivity and self - reliance again .

However,  the Akarigbo  was not around but  Barr.  Adebayo Onafunwa  who received them, promised to pass their message across to the monarch. 

He asked the traders to go home peacefully so that  hoodlums would not cash  in on the protest to cause problem in the town. 

 But reacting, the Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Public Communication, Hon. Remmy Hazzan, said provision has been made in the signed 2021 budget for the reconstruction of the Sabo market in Sagamu, and expressed the confidence that the state government would address  the traders' challenges. 

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