By ANOZIE EGOLE
Most motor parks across Nigeria do not only serve the purpose of loading and offloading passengers. They also serve several purposes which people do not know. Research has shown that major parks in Nigeria turn to mini international markets at night with different kinds of traders all struggling to sell and also, a conducive atmosphere for smokers to enjoy themselves as they feel very comfortable doing their thing at odd hours.
While many people retire to their various homes in the evening after a stressful day, others are warming up to come out for their own daily struggle which could take some up till midnight.
The question now is, what could make a human being deny him/herself the comfort of his/her home to sell at night? Who are these people selling to? It will also interest you to know that, every goods has its market. Not only that they sell some goods which are mainly fake, motor parks at night is normally a hideout for all kinds of hardened criminals. Research has also shown that most rape cases were carried out in the motor parks.
When SATURDAY VANGUARD conducted a research to know why some people would prefer to sell at night especially in some parks, it was learnt that most of the people that sell at this time, from 6pm till midnight do that just to avoid registering with the council. They prefer to settle the Omonile to enable them do their businesses in the parks and the road sides.
Madam Bose, who sells hot drinks in one of the parks in Ikotun said that why they normally like to sell in the night and in the early morning is because that is when most of their customers have chance to take the products. “It is not that we don’t like sleeping and that we prefer to sell in the night but it is when we can sell our goods.
Most of our customers are drivers and conductors and it is only this time that they can sit and have some drink. They drink in the early morning before going to work and late in the night after work. I have been doing this business for the past three years now and this is the normal time we make much sales. Some people are ashamed to drink during the day especially, some corporate workers.
They would not want people to see them taking the product. They come when they feel nobody will see them. I will tell you that the majority of my customers here are force people. They drink so much. They drink before they go to work. I am living comfortably and taking care of my family from the proceeds I make from my sales,” she narrated. According to Bose, she also sells outside the market because, she does not have that kind of money it costs to register in the market union.
Another trader Evans, who sells cloths at Oshodi market attributed the conversion of motor parks and road side into markets as work of people who would not want to follow the normal process of registering their business with the council and be paying the normal association’s due attached to such registration. He also warned Nigerians to stay away from people who make such sells as most of them sell fake and expired drugs due to the fact that they cannot be traced.
In his words, the 47 year old father of three said, “ I want to warn Nigerians to stay away from such people who always sells at night. What they sell are mostly fake. How can a normal person who believe he/she is genuine prefer to be selling in the night when it is dark.
Ask yourself, what if this person sells poison to me, would I be able to know him? There is no address. Because they are not real, that is why most of them do not want to register in their line inside the market to sell. They prefer to be settling all the Agberos outside instead of doing things the way it should,” Evans said.
“ The popular Bolade park is normally a different world in the night as that always serves as a very good hang out for many hoodlums.
“The kind of smoking that goes on in this Bolade park scares me sometime. You will see children below 15 years smoking different sizes of marijuana.
The annoying part of the whole story is that, you’d see police men patrolling the road with little effort of arresting these delinquents. Night life here is normally another world entirely. There is no type of illegal activity that you will not see in this area as from 6pm. Different gangs of pick pockets operate. Sometimes, when night travelers going to other States want to come to the park to book their tickets, some will lose their luggages to thieves. They also rape girls here sometimes too,” he said.
Another speaker who pleaded anonymity sees no reason why people should trade in the park beyond 7pm. He said that anybody who is caught trading at that point and in the park is illegal and should be treated as such. “If you go to that park after 7pm, you will agree with me that anybody in that place at that time is not a human being. Some people convert the park to their personal homes.
There is no sort of indecent life that you well not see in the park. Some bath, sleep, and even make love to girls right there in the park. Rape is a normal thing in some parks in this state. If they can do their normal business of buying and selling, there won’t be any problem with that but, they go beyond that. If you go there during the night, there is no kind of thing that you will not see. You will see faeces of different kinds and sizes”.
According to him, all those ladies that hawk hot drinks in buckets are all bad people. There is no crime that they cannot commit because, some of them know all these bad boys. “I know that some of these ladies, sell marijuana and cocaine. There is no kind of bad boy that you will not see there.”
For Iya Tosin, who is popularly called, Iya by her customers, she can’t just stop her business of hawking hot drinks which she has been doing for a very long time. Irrespective of the fact that most of her customers might have dubious character, that does not mean that she should stop her business.
“ I cannot stop selling to my customers because, they have bad character. I don’t know what they do for a living but, they are my customers. I am not a thief and I don’t sell marijuana so, I don’t know what they do for a living. Though some of us might be dubious , I am not,” Iya Tosin said.