Backs govt’s relocation of traders
A civil society group, the Concerned Citizens of Edo, has warned the owners of Santana Market in the Sapele axis of Benin City, not to disrupt peace and order in Edo State for the sake of their private businesses.
The group backed the Edo State Government’s order for the closure of the market, which lacks basic amenities for operations of an open market in the vicinity.
The state government had ordered the closure of Santana Market after a Weekly State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, noting that new guidelines for the operations of open markets in the state would be made public.
In a statement, Convener of the Concerned Citizens of Edo, Mr Ogbeiwi Aghedo, said the state government’s closure of the market and the relocation of traders from the market is apt and long overdue.
He said operators of Santana Market should have made provision for functioning toilets, potable running water and facilities to support emergencies, which are the minimum standard to support the market, adding, “The private owner of the market cannot continue to use his profit-making venture to disturb others. So, as members of the civil society in the state, we are totally in support of the government’s decision on this matter.”
According to him, “We have learnt that Santana Market is privately operated. But for the maintenance of order and sanity in that axis of Benin, it was only proper for the government to shut the market. This is the best decision to be taken in the face of the prevailing circumstances. We cannot sacrifice public order on the altar of one man’s business interest. Every rational person knows that the location of Santana market which is privately owned is not suitable for a market of such size.
“With the number of persons buying and selling at the market, one would have expected the owner of the market to provide parking space to ensure a free flow of traffic along that axis of Sapele Road. With the relocation of the market, the daily gridlock experienced by motorists will be a thing of the past.”
Aghedo commended the state government and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area on the plans to assist traders with interest to relocate to nearby vacant markets in the area, adding, “I will urge traders doing business at Santana market who are affected by the closure to accept the packages presented by the state and local governments and relocate to nearby markets.