The Iyaloja (market leader) General of Nigeria, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, on Thursday, said that the popular Oyingbo Market in Lagos was shut down due to its deplorable state.
Folashade, who is daughter of former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, gave the explanation at a media briefing where she made clarifications on the reasons behind the closure of the market.
PlatinumPost reports that the busy market was shut down on Friday, Nov. 12, leading to protests by some of the traders.
Tinubu-Ojo said that contrary to insinuation that she sought for payment of N5m over the issue, the market was shut down because of its environmental situation.
“The Mainland Local Government Chairman, Hon. Omolola Essien had earlier called me to close down the Oyingbo market because it was extremely dirty.
“Also, the Ministry of Environment had initially done so much earlier in the year for same reason before it was reopened.
“The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had also visited the market and thereafter, sent a letter to that effect.
“The traders were then given time to do the needful,” she explained.
The Iyaloja regretted that the market which was constructed less than 10 years ago was now in bad shape.
“I visited the market on Thursday last week and instructed them not to open the market the next day and that they should also move their goods out of the market, with a promise that I will be there on Friday to ensure proper sanitation.
“I was there as said, on Friday and ordered the traders to pack their stuff out of the market while it was properly cleaned on Friday and Saturday.
“I sent delegates to check on Tuesday if thorough sanitation had been done as instructed,” she said.
Tinubu Ojo said that the traders were given 24 hours prior notice, adding that the Ministry of Environment had earlier shut the market without prior notice, for months.
“We can’t continue to celebrate dirt. I stood at the gate and asked them to move their perishables before it was closed.
“There is no market head for Oyingbo market currently, as none of the two contenders vying for the post was on ground during the whole process.
“The officials from LASURA had earlier visited the market without informing me and then called my attention again to the terrible state of the market.
“I had to put a call to one of the officials who also confirmed the state of the market and said the agency had videos and pictures of the market,” she said.
Tinubu-Ojo, however, appealed to the traders to ensure proper sanitation as it is being preached weekly.
She urged traders to keep their environment clean always.
Meanwhile Tinubu-Ojo acknowledged that the local government executive was aware that some touts are collecting N2,500 from the traders on a daily basis.
“The touts need to be evacuated from the market to ensure orderliness, cleanliness, law and order,” she said.
One of the traders, Mrs Abimbola Jinadu, Iyaloja, Agric Coker Odunade, who corroborated what the Iyaloja General said, noted that she was part of the team that visited the market during the whole process.
She stated that Oyingbo market, in spite of the cleaning that was done during the weekend, was still very dirty as at Tuesday that they visited.
“The traders were asked to vacate the market with their goods before the sanitation started,” she said.