The popular Mile 12 Market in Lagos State, where a clash between Hausas and Yorubas left no fewer than 5 people dead two weeks ago, has been re-opened by the Lagos State Government on Thursday.
This came on the heels of a series of meetings with the market leaders, traditional rulers in the community and community development associations, which culminated in a six-point consensus.
This consensus-communique was contained in a recent statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde.
It reeled out some of the major agreements arrived at by the various stakeholders before the state government finally agreed to re-open the market for business.
The statement noted that the agreement included the relocation of the market to another suitable location, as the existing area could no longer contain the traders, and a ban on the use of commercial motorcycles (okada) in the area.
It also emphasized “co-existence among all ethnic groups in the market and environs; removal of all shanties and illegal structures in the area; market operation to be confined within the area and no street trading, with the promise to trade in a clean and hygienic environment.”
The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, had on March 3, 2016,after the clash, which claimed no fewer than five lives, shut the Mile 12 Market, the biggest food and perishable produce market in West Africa.
But the Governor had directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Olatunji Bello, to interface with all parties involved in the conflict that culminated in the wanton destruction of lives and properties.
After a duly negotiated peace deal was brokered by the Bello-led committee, all the stakeholders addressed a news conference, indicating their intention to uphold peace and tranquility in the area.
The stakeholders, which comprise the market leaders, traditional rulers and community associations agreed that it was only in an atmosphere of peace that their various business and trade can thrive.
On this ground, the Governor had assured all stakeholders of fair treatment, noting that Lagos “is a home for all. The state government will continue to provide the enabling environment for every investor to thrive. Our promise to run a 24/7 economy is sacrosanct.”
At the news conference addressed by the stakeholders on Wednesday, Bello warned that the state government would deal decisively with any group or persons bent on disturbing public peace in the area and all parts of the state, just as he urged the leaders to talk to their people to be law abiding and maintain peace.
When asked on compensation for traders and members of the communities who lost items and properties due to the clash and closure of the market, Bello said the state government would look into it and compensate those with genuine claims.