Governor, Abiola Ajimobi
By Tunde Sanni
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has said his aggressive urban renewal programme was meant to make the state attractive to visitors and investors, as well as halt periodic accidents that claim the lives of street traders and hawkers.
The governor while addressing traders under the Molete bridge, whose shops were demolished at the weekend, stated that the programme was also targeted at changing the tag of the capital city as one of the filthiest states in the country.
Ajimobi, who came to the venue with all members of his cabinet, said the urban renewal programme like anywhere else in the world, would not come without some measure of pain.
He urged the people to take it as their sacrifice towards beautifying the state and making it better than it used to be.
According to him, the state had gained the notoriety of dirt over the years, which was a tag that any lover of development would resist, saying the people were lovers of aesthetics and good living.
The governor noted that the state government was building six to eight modern markets of simple technology with all the conveniences, whose locations would not be far from the former squatting locations of the traders.
“Though you were squatters under the bridge where you sold illegally, but being a government with human face and with well-articulated welfarist programmes, we will provide good modern markets for you. Among the purposes of building the new markets is to change the name tag of Ibadan as the dirtiest city in Nigeria. We also want to prevent unnecessary accidents which occur here that claim the lives of our people,” the governor said.
While promising the traders that the markets would be equipped with facilities which would lift their essence as contributors to the state’s economy, Ajimobi said the traders ran a great risk with their selling their wares under the bridge.
The governor, who said government had begun the collation of the names of affected traders, promised that no one whose shop was demolished would be left un-relocated, stating that gone was the past system where top government functionaries and their allies bought up market stalls meant for traders.
Ajimobi, who said the market developers were already on ground, urged the market leaders to collate names of the affected traders who had not written their names but warned that any fictitious name written would be met with sanctions from government.
“The markets would be to help you. We will not collect money from you initially but later, you will be paying developmental and management fees. The money will not be exorbitant but would be paid to your association and they will remit same to the government. Those that are given the shops would be the eventual owners. They are not entitled to lease or transfer them as anyone who does so will have it forfeited,” the governor said.