By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Following the demolition of Erekesan (Oja-Oba) market in Ado-Ekiti Saturday, the State government has promised to build an ultra-modern market in its place within the next 24 months.
The market which was pulled down at the early hours of Saturday morning, was set ablaze recently, following a violent clash between drivers and Hausa people in the state.
The Commissioner for Works, Mr Kayode Osho, who was on site when the demolition started, reiterated the resolve of the state government to also give preference to former shop owners when the new market is built.
As early as 5am Saturday, bulldozers already stationed at the market commenced the demolition while many passers-by and marketers watched and others packed up the remains of their shops.
Osho said that the demolition and excavation of the market premises would last for two weeks after which construction of a modern shopping mall with all the necessary facilities, would begin.
He also assured that in 24 months, the mall would be ready, adding that “the project is already accepted by the people and would continue to benefit the people: the Oba and the Ewi in council supports as well as well-meaning and prominent Ekiti indigenes have all accepted it:
“Compensation was done in collaboration with market owners and in line with standards in the industry, about N120 million was expended on compensation for affected traders. The project of market will be gulp about N2billion. It is going to be an elaborate shopping mall with many other facilities such as filling station, police station, motor parks, and banks among other social infrastructure.”
The Commissioner also assured that over 1000 shop owners who have lost their shops to the reconstruction would have their shops back after its completion: ” we already have the list of those who have lost shops and they would be taken care of, and there would also be many other shops as we are going to have over 700 shops to be constructed in the mall,” he said.
Many of the traders in the market lauded the efforts of the governor, saying that he is a good man who understands the needs of the common man.
Mr. Adeoye Adeyemi, popular as Oluomo Sketch in the market and a trader of shoes, said: “Fayose is a good man and his time is very good for us. This market is going to become better. God would continue to bless. He should continue to remember us. We thank him for the great good he has done for us.”
Hon. Olasehinde Omotosho, former councillor of ward, Ijoka, Ado-Ekiti, said : It is a welcome development. There is nothing we can do. The government has compensated the marketers, we only need to thank his Excellency, because the project is for the masses, when the market is been constructed I hope the people will enjoy. It is not the first time this will be happening. I urge the government to facilitate the project.”