Itoku market women, traders, protest injustice in shop allocations, urges Governor Abiodun to intervene
By Olumighty Olumide Abiodun
Abeokuta – Traders at the popular Itoku market in Abeokuta yesterday staged a peaceful protest against what they described as injustice in the allocation of shops at the newly built Adire Mall in Itoku calling on Governor Dapo Abiodun to intervene.
Displaying placards with different inscriptions, the traders accused the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun State of shortchanging them in the allocation of shops at the newly built Mall.
It will be recalled that the last administration of Ibikunle Amosun demolished shops of the protesting traders in Itoku Kampala and Adire Market to make way for the modern market.
According to the traders, the immediate past Governor promised that his administration would give preference to traders whose shops were demolished in the allocation of shops at the new mall once necessary requirements are satisfied by them.
The traders were shocked when the last administration reneged on its’ promise by allocating the shops to family and friends of political office holders who are not traders in Itoku. The wrongful allocation came after those whose shops were demolished have satisfied all requirements the government demanded of them.
As proof of their claim, the protesting traders revealed that the shops allocated to family and friends of political office holders in the last administration are under locks and keys making access difficult.
The Babaloja of the market, Chief Idowu Alaro who led the protesters appealed to Governor Abiodun to ensure justice is done in the matter stating that the previous administration was not fair to them in the allocation of the new shops despite having paid all fees demanded.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of the state Governor, the Special Adviser on Housing, Jagunmolu Akande Omoniyi expressed the deep concern of the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun about the situation and the promised that the new administration will right the wrong in the allocation of the shops in a manner that will be fair to parties concerned.
While reiterating the commitment of the present administration in the state to justice, fairness and equity, he appealed for calm in the market pending the resolution of the dispute.
The Special Adviser who was accompanied to the scene of the protest by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Directors in the Ministry and the Divisional Police Officer of Lafenwa Police Station.