Traders at Ajuwoye market and its environs in the Mushin area of Lagos state on Wednesday cried out to the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to prevail on the Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA to open the market which was closed since Sunday night to enable them salvage their wares.
Other markets affected by the closure include; Awolowo Ultra Modern Market Odi Olowo Ojuwoye Mushin, Ojuwoye Market Odi Olowo Mushin, Mushin Main Market, Daleko Market Mushin, and Odo Ashimowu Market Mushin.
The women, mostly petty traders lamented as their perishable goods including fish, pepper, tomatoes, chicken, pomo, and vegetables rot away and urged the state government to do something urgently to ensure that the market is reopened.
Meanwhile, the national president of the Ambassadors for Peace and Enlightenment Foundation, AMPEF, Comrade Prince Saviour Iche, has called on Governor Sanwo-Olu to open the market as a matter of urgency so as to reduce the plight of the traders and their families.
Comrade Iche who coordinated a protest on Wednesday at the Ajuwoye market and the adjourning streets affected by the closure described the act by the LAWMA as inhuman given the fact that most of the people affected are petty traders who depend on their daily earnings to survive.
According to him, “This market has been closed for four days now, and based on what most of the traders are saying, they have lost so much, particularly those who sell perishable goods. Some of them sell fish, their fish is rotten, the pomo is rotten, meat is rotten. We are begging the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment to consider the plight of these market men and women and open the market. They are adding more suffering to the masses who are already suffering. To eat in Nigeria now is a big problem.
“The closure of this market is without a tangible reason. We are calling on the Lagos state government, and the Ministry of Environment to reopen the market because most of the traders here may not eat if they do not come to market and we have records showing that their wares running into millions of naira have spoiled. We are appealing to the government to open the market so that the traders will go back to their normal business.”
Mr.Adebowale Ajeso, a staff of a Micro bank in the area told our crew that there was no prior notice before the closure. “I was not sure why the whole market was closed because we pay LAWMA through the market committee. In fact, we are actually hearing that we are owing two years. We pay them yearly. We still paid them last Saturday and we normally observe the Thursday environmental exercise. So, I don’t understand why they should close the market,” he submitted.
Some of the protesting traders whose wares had spoiled appealed to the state government to intervene and save them from losing everything. Some of their placards had inscriptions such as “Let the poor breathe,” “Is this the palliative the government promised us”, “Government should help us open our market” and “We do not eat if we do not sell”.
Alhaja Animashadia who operates frozen food in the affected market lamented that since the closure, her stock of frozen chicken, and different sizes of fish had all rotten. According to her, she had to resort to the use of diesel to power her freezer at an extra cost.
Her story was not different from Iya Bose who showed our correspondent a bow of rotten pomo which the closure had caused her.
Some of the traders displayed the tickets with which they had been paying to LAWMA through the market committee, wondering why the market would be closed without any prior notice.
When our correspondent contacted LAWMA for their reaction, he was advised to write to the Managing Director.