07 Jan Nigeria: “Perishable Food Market Traders Rally for Justice: A Plea for Market Approval at Lagos House”
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In a compelling demonstration of unity and advocacy, members and traders affiliated with the Orilowo Perishable Food Market Association converged at the entrance of the Lagos State House of Assembly, passionately demanding justice for their cause. Led by the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) in collaboration with civil society stakeholders, the protesters aimed to draw attention to the plight of the Orilowo Perishable Food Market, seeking swift resolution.
The heart of the matter revolves around the non-approval of the designated market site, located at Plot 705 Adekunle Bus Stop, Ikorodu Road, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA. The association, comprising over 1000 traders, including market men, women, drivers, and loaders, asserts that their means of livelihood are under threat due to the lingering absence of approval.
Comr. Alex Omotehinse, President of CHSR, addressed the crowd, emphasizing that the Orilowo Perishable Food Market has diligently fulfilled all requirements necessary for market operation. He asserted that the association is fully prepared to comply with established rules and standards governing market activities. Omotehinse urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene, holding Agboyi-Ketu LCDA and relevant agencies accountable for the delayed approval.
“The petitioners wrote a letter dated May 16, 2022, to Agboyi-Ketu LCDA seeking approval of a designated site; unfortunately, officials of the LCDA have deliberately refused to grant approval as requested by the association, thus putting their business activities in jeopardy,” Omotehinse explained.
Responding to the protesters, Hon. Noheem Adams, the Majority Leader of LSHA, commended the peaceful nature of the protest and assured the group that their concerns would be addressed through a fair and thorough process. Adams confirmed that an invitation letter would be sent to the protesters, inviting them to a meeting with other stakeholders and the Agboyi-Ketu LCDA Chairman for a comprehensive discussion.
Adams stated, “Protest is part of democracy, and it is right to protest when you are aggrieved. You have written a petition to the Speaker, who has approved your petition and forwarded it to the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government and the Chieftaincy. I assure you that you will receive a letter of invitation today. You are invited on January 9, 2024, for a meeting with all stakeholders involved.”
Acknowledging the complexity of the issue, Adams emphasized the need for a fair hearing from all parties involved, including the LCDA chairman, to arrive at a resolution that benefits everyone. The promise of a transparent and inclusive dialogue offered a glimmer of hope to the protesting traders, emphasizing the democratic values of justice and fairness.