Smarting from the last week’s crisis in the Mile 12 market area of Lagos, the State House of Assembly yesterday told the state government to begin arrangements for the relocation of the popular foodstuff market.
The market, which is due to be moved to Parafa, in Ikorodu, according to the House, has overstayed its welcome in the area and should no longer be tolerated in the heart of the city.
Also penciled for relocation is the Owode Market on Ikorodu road and others of such market that have expanded to the highway.
Presenting the issue at Matters of Urgent Public Importance, during Monday’s plenary, member of the House, Jude Idimogu, drew attention of his colleagues to the last week mayhem in which 12 people were killed, scores of persons maimed and raped and over 15 houses razed.
Idimogu noted that such violence and tribal clashes had become one too many in the market with security agencies also manipulated for taking sides with one tribe against the other.
While he commended the state government for rising to the occasion to quell the crisis, the lawmaker said that it was high time the government had relocated the market to a better site and away from residential community.
Idimogu’s colleague, representing Epe II Constituency, Abiodun Tobun, recalled that the Mile 12 market dated back several decades, was established when the area was not as developed as it is today.
Tobun said: “Not only has the area developed, the market too has enlarged with many trailers now parked on the road side to enter the market creating traffic on that corridor. Government is doing much to keep street traders off the road, but the market itself deserves to be relocated.”
Lawmaker representing Ikorodu I Constituency, Sanai Agunbiade, observed that the traffic around that corridor was due to the market that has overstayed its welcome.
Agunbiade recalled that the last administration had in fact designed a large expanse of land for regional food market in Parafa, where Mile 12 was proposed to be relocated.
But the lawmaker representing the area (Kosofe II Constituency), Tunde Buraimoh, pleaded with the House to exercise caution on such move, citing that the disagreement between trading Hausas and the Yoruba host community would be resolved and peace would soon returned.
Several of his colleagues, however, disagreed, urging the state government to put sentiments aside and use its political will to relocate “the nuisance of a market”.
Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, in his ruling, said it was high time the government had done the needful on Mile 12 and set all machineries in motion to relocate both Mile 12 and Owode market, assuring that the House would support with the needed budget for such exercise.