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Activists, Marketers Demand Approval For Orilowo, Ketu Perishable Food Market

Activists, under the auspices of the Centre for Human And Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) and some marketers from Orilowo Perishable Food Market Association in Agboyi-Ketu, Lagos on Thursday protested against the denial of approval of the site for the market.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards of the protesters read; “Approve our market now,” “Don’t throw us to the streets,” “Call Agboyi-Ketu LCDA Chairman to order,” “Register Orilowo perishable food market now,” and “Obasa must caution the Agboyi-Ketu LCDA Chairman.”

The President of CHSR, Comrade Alex Omoteshinse, who led the protesters, said in a petition addressed to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, dated January 4, 2024, that the issue borders on the economic survival of a group of law-abiding market stakeholders in Lagos State.

Omotehinse said that “they want to demand that their rights to freedom of association and livelihoods be protected as envisaged under the constitution of Nigeria and the relevant laws of Lagos State to which your leadership of the legislative assembly is reputed to have demonstrated impeccable commitment.”

He then drew the attention of the Speaker to the fact that the petitioners are members and traders under the umbrella of A.I.A Orilowo Perishable Foods Market Association with Certificate of Incorporation (Registration number 178282) with secretariat situated at Plot 705, Ikorodu Road, Adekunle Bus Stop by Owode Onirin, Lagos State.

According to him, they have been operating the market to serve the community in the same location for close to a decade.

“The petitioners wrote a letter dated May 16, 2022, to Agboyi-Ketu LCDA seeking approval of a designated site within their secretariat situated on Plot 705, Ikorodu Road. Unfortunately, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA officials have deliberately refused to grant approval as requested by the association thereby subjecting their business activities into jeopardy.

“The Executive Chairman of Agboyi-Ketu LCDA invited representatives of the association for a meeting, where the request for the recognition of the association was again unfortunately denied without cogent reasons.

“A.I.A Orilowo Perishable Food Market Association has over 1,000 traders comprising market men, women, drivers, and loaders, whose means of livelihood is adversely threatened by the non-approval of the site for market operation by Agboyi-Ketu LCDA,” he said.

Omotehinse then stated that notwithstanding the alleged claims that certain cabals in the corridors of power in Lagos State are determined to frustrate the recognition of the market, they are concerned that non-recognition of the association and refusal to grant them approval to operate a legitimate market could lead to social menace within the community based on the harsh economic situation in the country.

The activist subsequently called for the urgent intervention of the Lagos State Government through the state house of assembly to “avert these manifestly looming negative consequences of the failure to approve the requested space for A.I.A Orilowo Perishable Food Market Association to carry out their legitimate market activities.”

“As an organisation, we are convinced that A.I.A Orilowo Perishable Foods Market Association, having fulfilled requirements to operate a market should be given approval to operate within a recognised market in line with established rules and standards which the association is ready to comply with.

“We are therefore by this petition demanding the intervention of the Lagos State House of Assembly to call Agboyi-Ketu LCDA and the relevant agencies to order with the view to actualising the approval of the requested space located at Plot 705, Ikorodu Road, Adekunle Bus Stop by Owode Onirin, Lagos State as the operational base of A.I.A Orilowo Perishable Food Market Association,” he said.

In his comment, the Chairman of Orilowo Perishable Market, Isiaka Akande Abdullahi said that having registered the market with CAC, they proceeded to register with the local government as well which he said was refused since May 16, 2022, and pleaded with them but that there was no respite, which he said was what informed the involvement of the CSO.

“We are here to plead with the Lagos State House of Assembly to help prevail on Agboyi Ketu Chairman to register our market and save of from this embarrassment,” he said.

Addressing the protesters on behalf of the speaker of the assembly, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Noheem Adams, stated that the matter is being handled by the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, adding that representatives of the traders and other stakeholders would appear before the Committee on January 9, 2024.

While reiterating the commitment of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa for the welfare of the people of the state, thanked the protesters for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves during the protest.

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