Ogun to relocate Mile 12 traders from Kara market to Ogere
In a bid to avert a repeat of the bloody clash recorded in Mile 12 area of Lagos State last week, Ogun State government yesterday announced plans to move the displaced Hausa traders from the popular Kara market in Berger on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to a new location.
The decision, according to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Shokefun, who led the delegation to the market, in company of her counterpart in the Environment ministry, Bolaji Oyeleye, was based on government’s concern on the security risk of the Kara market.
It would be recalled that following the bloodbath at Mile 12 last Thursday, the popular food market was shut down for peace to reign. The Guardian learnt that traders opted to relocate to the Kara market on their own volition few days ago, which according to Shokefun, they did without recourse to Ogun State government.
“We learnt that the traders from Ketu have relocated here. While we welcome them, we need to ensure that they are orderly and systemic. They just took over here without recourse to government, this is not their location, this place is meant to be a cattle market. They will still be here pending when we conclude the provision of necessary infrastructure at a conducive location.
“There is a large expanse of land (about 50 acres) in Ogere, before the toll gate, that has been allocated to traders. The governor has been magnanimous, he has given them a location, and work would start in earnest to open up the place. We plan to relocate traders from here within the shortest possible time. The government’s concern is predominantly security, so that there won’t be anarchy.
The Seriki of the Kara market, Muritala Bolagade Babalola, appealed to the state government not to send them away, but to look for a suitable place for them to carryout their trade.
Meanwhile, traders at the Mile 12 market, have pleaded with Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos State, to reopen the market. Haruna Mohammed, chairman of perishable traders association at the market, said the continued closure of the facility would further impoverish members.
The market was shut following violent clashes, which according to the police, left 10 people dead and several houses and cars razed. Mohammed said the closure had forced owners of perishable items like tomatoes, pepper and others to resort to auctioning them to recoup their investment. The situation, he noted, had also forced traders bringing the perishable items to Lagos to discharge them at Kara and Ibafo in Ogun as well as at Ile-Epo Market and Odogunyan in Ikorodu.
“Our members have lost millions of naira since the closure of the market. The effect of this on the traders cannot be quantified.”
Yahaya Ahmed, a trader at Kara market, lamented the huge losses being recorded daily as the commodities were left to rot. “A big basket of tomatoes or pepper now sells for as low as N4,000 against the former price of N7,000 before the closure.”
Another trader, Yinusa Jubril, also said: “I started selling off the produce because the truck owner threatened to dump them anywhere if I fail to remove them.”