Protest over Fayose’s sale of market

Some indigenes of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday protested Governor Ayo Fayose’s decision to sell shops in the uncompleted Erekesan (Oba’s) Market.
The protesters described the market as their heritage, which they would not allow anyone to sell off.
They warned the governor to pull the brakes on the planned sale.
The indigenes noted that the control of market is under the jurisdiction of the local government and not the state government.
The protesters wondered why the governor was in haste to sell the market before exiting office next month.
They alleged that the governor’s decision to sell the market was unilateral and not after consultations with the indigenes.
According to them, the N2 million per shop price the governor placed on the shops was too exorbitant for poor market women.
The protest was organised by Ado Ewi Indigenes Rights Protection Forum and Ado-Ekiti Youth Coalition.
The protesters carried a big banner with the inscription “Erekesin (Oja Oba) Market Not For Sale, Don’t Sell Ado Ewi Inheritance, Buyers Be Warned, Don’t Lose Your Money.”
Addressing reporters during the protest, the Akuajo of Ado-Ekiti, Chief Olugbayo Ogunleye, expressed dismay at how Fayose allegedly reneged on his promise to consider the former occupants of the market before allocation.
Joining Ogunleye to address reporters at the protest were the head of the Aladesanmi royal family, Prince Adedeji Aladesanmi and Babatolu of Ado-Ekiti, Chief Kayode Owolabi.
Ogunleye said: “Our stand is apolitical. We are protesting to preserve the heritage of Ado-Ekiti indigenes with regards to Oba’s market.
“Virtually all over Africa, especially in Nigeria and Yoruba land in particular, an Oba’s market is never sold. It can be leased or rented but it is not usually sold outright.
“Again, the control of such a market is the constitutional rights of the local government and not that of the state because it is a major factor in the internally generated revenue (IGR) sources of the local government.
“Our fear is that once it is sold, that market is gone forever and the local government will become poorer. So, we are calling for the retention of the local government and the need for it to be administered by the council. The market is not for any state.
“They said people should come and pay as much as N2 million before the shops are allocated, rather than allowing them to rent the place. Even those occupying the place were not given preferential treatment. Where would those just trying to make ends meet get N2 million?”
The National Secretary of Ado-Ekiti Youth Coalition, Olubodun Olukayode, said it was wrong for the governor to have contemplated selling the market, taking cognisance of the premium placed on it by Ado-Ekiti indigenes.
He said: “We are sounding a note of warning to prospective buyers that the market is not for sale. Though we have not met the government, but we have registered our protest with Ewi-in-Council. As youths, whatever we do today shall be history tomorrow. So, we are here to preserve our heritage.”
Culled from: The Nation

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