7th September, 2011
The Lagos State government has announced that there are no plans to re-open the Yaba market soon.
The market was shut weeks ago following a fracas between officials of the stateâ€™s Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, and the traders. As a result, some of the government officials sustained serious injuries with one of them stabbed in the eyes.
Making this announcement yesterday, the State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Tunji Bello, said the market remains shut till the traders can produce the traders who attacked the KAI officials.
The commissioner was particularly concerned about the plight of the female official who, according to him, has undergone two surgical operations to see if anything positive could be done against a possible blindness.
Dr. Bello, who said the traders have been meeting people to mediate and appeal to the government, said he had told them that until they produce those who fought against the officials for them to face the law, the market would not be reopened.
He maintained that only through a legal action against the culprit would other traders in the state learn to respect constituted authority.
On allegations that the KAI officials collect bribes from the traders so as to allow them do business in government restricted areas, the commissioner said that should not even warrant the traders to take the laws into their own hands.
He said they should have petitioned those traders and that if he received such petition, he would definitely sanction any of the erring officials.
Dr. Bello said: â€œthat woman that was attacked is somebodyâ€™s wife. She is somebodyâ€™s sister and somebodyâ€™s mother. You cannot just attack a human being in such a manner. And this one is even an official of the government.â€
The commissioner, who yesterday also monitored the demolition of structures built on canals in the state in order to ease flow of water, also read the riot act to traders in the State.
He warned that the state government would henceforth not condone dirty environments especially around markets as any dirty market that is closed down would not be reopened till after three months.
He said it has been discovered that traders no longer keep their markets clean.
â€œI am warning the traders in Mushin market, where they sell foodstuff. It rained last week and we saw how the traders blocked the drains. We have called them to a meeting and have warned them.
â€œWe are also warning people at Cele and Ladipo markets. If they donâ€™t heed our warnings, any market shut down now would be for a minimum of three months and I can assure you of that.
â€œYou canâ€™t say because you want to trade, you go and inconvenience thousands of other innocent people living peacefully and who are tax- payers.
â€œWe would encourage people to trade and make money, but not at the expense of the people,â€ he warned.