Iyaloja General of Nigeria Folashade Tinubu-Ojo on Thursday explained that the Oyingbo market in Lagos was shut because of environmental issues.
WuzupNigeria reported that traders of the popular Oyingbo market complex on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over the closure of their shops in the plaza.
The protestesters alleged that the reason for closing the market was because the Iyaloja sought the payment of N5m from the traders.
But Tinubu-Ojo at a press briefing, said that contrary to insinuations that she sought for payment of N5m over the issue, the market was shut down because of its deplorable state.
The Iyaloja General said, “The Mainland Local Government chairman Hon. Omolola Essien had earlier called me to close down the Oyingbo market because it was extremely dirty.
“Also, the ministry of environment had initially done so much earlier in the year for same reason before it was reopened. The governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also visited the market and thereafter sent a letter to that effect. The traders were then given time to do the needful.”
Tinubu-Ojo, who is the daughter of former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, regretted that the market, which was constructed less than 10 years ago, was now in such a deplorable state.
“I visited the market on Thursday last week and instructed them not to open the market the next day and that they should also move their goods out of the market, with a promise that I will be there on Friday to ensure proper sanitation.
“I was there as said, on Friday and ordered the traders to pack their stuff out of the market while it was properly cleaned on Friday and Saturday. I sent delegates to check on Tuesday if thorough sanitation had been done as instructed,” she said.
Tinubu-Ojo said that the traders were given 24 hours prior notice, adding that the ministry of environment had earlier shut the market for months, without prior notice.
“We can’t continue to celebrate dirt. I stood at the gate and asked them to move their perishables before it was closed,” she said.
She appealed to the traders to ensure proper sanitation.
She acknowledged that the local government executive was aware that some hoodlums were collecting N2,500 from traders daily.
“The touts need to be evacuated from the market to ensure orderliness, cleanliness, law and order,” she added.