L-R: Financial Secretary, Mile 12 Market Association, Alhaji. Shehu Usman; Bale of Agiliti Community, Chief Atanda Onikosi and the Chairman, Ikosi Elders Forum, Alhaji. Adewale Adeyinka, at a media briefing by the Leaders of Mile 12 Market, Maidan and Agiliti communities on the crisis rocking the market, held in Lagos, Photo: OLASUPO

Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government and traders in the crisis-ridden Mile 12 Market wednesday agreed to move the market from its current location to a new area.

They also agreed that the government should ban commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada from the area.
The agreement was disclosed at a news conference by the leaders of the market and officials of the state government at Alausa, Ikeja.

The conference was attended by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Olatunji Bello, Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, among others.

Speaking at the conference, the Financial Secretary of Perishable Foodstuff Association at Mile 12 Market, Alhaji Shehu Usman, said the traders had resolved and agreed to work with the state government to enhance peace in the area.
He said the traders had agreed to work with the government to ensure the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada, as a means of transportation in the area because of their flagrant disobedience to traffic laws in addition to causing road accidents.

“Okadas were responsible for the breakdown of law and order that predicated the present crisis. We have agreed for peaceful co-existence among all ethnic groups in the area. We have agreed on the removal of all shanties and blighted areas within the area which may be harbouring miscreants and eliminate their illegal activities.

“These shanties are illegal structures which are unsuitable for human habitation and are prone to landslides and other environmental problems. Their removal will greatly enhance the security of lives and properties in the neighbourhood.”
Usman said in view of the fact that the Mile 12 Market had been in existence for decades and had outgrown its present location and available structure, it had become necessary for its relocation to another suitable and more convenient location within the state.

“The market executives will dialogue further with the state government on the relocation programme which will help increase the economic growth and development, provide better infrastructure and reduce traffic congestion,” he stated.
While regretting that crisis erupted in the market, leading to the loss of lives and properties, Usman denied that the crisis was not a fight between the Hausas and the Yorubas but between Okada factions in the area.

Also at the conference, Bello said the state government would deal decisively with any group or persons bent on disturbing public peace in the area and all parts of the state, thereby urging the leaders to talk to their people to be law abiding and maintain peace.

On relocation of the market, Bello said the state government would finalise on the new location and time frame when the traders will be relocated, saying that the public will be adequately notified in due course.
When asked on the compensation for the traders and members of the communities who lost items and properties due to the clash and closure of the market, Bello said government will look into it and compensate those with genuine claim.