According to reports, Some traders at the Mile 12 Market, Lagos State, say the decision by Governor Akinwumi Ambode to move the market to a new site in Imota is not acceptable.
They said the decision was made contrary to their demand that the market should be modernised, describing the planned relocation as a violation of their rights.
The General Secretary, Shukura Yam Section, Mr. Collins Obichukwu, who spoke on Thursday on behalf of the traders, said the leadership of the market was not consulted before the decision was taken.
Ambode had said on Tuesday that the new Mile 12 Market in Imota would be ready in six months after which the traders would be relocated.
But Obichukwu said the government’s decision was received with shock and disbelief by the leadership of the market.
He said, “The leadership of Mile 12 Market has the belief that the State government will not take any fundamental decision that affects the market without extensive consultation with the stakeholders of the market, particularly the leadership of the market.
“The report of the panel of inquiry set up by Lagos State to look into the incident lends credence to the fact that the civil disturbance was not directly or remotely connected with the activities of our traders. lt is against the backdrop that we received with disbelief and shock the statement credited to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode that our market would be relocated in six months’ time.
“In the unlikely event that it is true, we will view His Excellency’s declaration as a savage attack on our rights to association as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
The general secretary said his members had yet to recover from the losses that resulted from the clash, adding that the government did not consider their ordeals before embarking on the relocation plan.
He said, “We believe that the government of Lagos State under the leadership of Ambode is a responsive, listening government. How will a government make unilateral declaration on matter that affects our livelihood and the masses without due consultation with the people that will be directly affected by such declaration, particularly in a democratic dispensation? ”
He said the decision to relocate the market was at variance with their request, adding that the government should develop the market into a modern market with functional facilities.
“After the market was shut, we held a meeting with the government and requested that the market should be developed into a modern market with functional facilities like it was done in Sura, Apongbon and Tejuosho markets,” Obichukwu said.