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Ayegbaju Shop Owners Protest, Accuse Osun Govt, Developer of Fraud

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By Abdulrofiu Agboola, Osogbo

ayegbaju protest

Shop owners at the Ayegbaju market in Osogbo have accused the Osun state government of defrauding them and breaching the contractual agreement between them on the purchase of the shops.

The shop owners who stage a peaceful protest on Wednesday stated that they have no electricity and water in the market for almost two years, accusing the government of insensitivity to the development of the market.

According to the shop owners, the state government has also reneged on the original agreement of ownership of the shops for 99 years, changing it to 28 years of ownership right for the purchasers.

The shop owners carried placards with inscriptions like “no to. 28 years agreement, 99 years agreement is what ‎ we were promised “, “give us electricity and water “, “owo njo lo” and “we want to meet Governor Aregbesola ” amongst others.

CityMirrorNews Correspondent who witnessed the protest at the Ayegbaju International market’s premises reported that the protesters were prevented from moving out by the police.

The armed to teeth policemen manned the entrance and the exist gate of the market to prevent the protesters from going out to protest on the street, apparently to make their protest unpopular.

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Speaking with the newsmen, the Chairman, Ayegbaju Shop Owners Association, Chief Oroleye Musbau said that the state government has disregarded the initial contractual agreement being entered into before they purchase the shops.

Musbau further explained that the state had promised to move other traders in some other locations in the state capital to the Ayegbaju market but failed to implement it since the market came to being.

He added that the presence of petty traders at the entrance of the market is defacing it, making it to loose the international status for which it was designed.

The chairman also alleged that the reversal of the initial 99 years-right of ownership status given by the government to the shop owners that was later change to 28 years is not acceptable to them.

Echoing a similar view, Mr Taofeeq Azeez, the vice Chairman, called for the restoration of electricity to the shop, saying that that the market has been without electricity for about two years now.

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Azeez stated that all the promises and facilities ‎promised by the developer, Edward Management and the state government was not provided, leaving the traders to their fate.

According to Azeez; “We want to make our stance clear to the government, we are not anti -government, we are only against injustice‎, we are against 419 and scam. They promised us that they will give us a standard market at Ayegbaju International Market, with the agreement that it will be an outright purchase of 99 years of ownership.

“But to our surprise, they gave us a document reading 28 years right of ownership agreement. They are claiming they want to deal with us individually and not as a group, that gives us a signal that they want to defraud us.

“If you look at the market now, it’s almost five years that this market was built, it is not functioning and no water and no light, we want the government to come to our rescue, we cannot afford to loose our money, we paid as much as N2.5 million and those who paid for open market paid about N350, 000. These are not small money, they are not helping us.

“We do not care about party but about the welfare of our people, we bought the shop because government promised us a standard market. We don’t know Edward, we only know Governor Rauf Aregbesola who asked us to invest in the market.”

Reacting, the MD /CEO of the Osun State Investment Company Limited, Mr Bola Oyebamiji who tried to calm the protesters said that the government was ready to look into their plight.

Oyebamiji said:”‎It is actually not a complain but a town hall meeting, what we are going to do now is we have the mandate of the governor to listen to them and to resolve all the abnormities amicably and we are going to do so very soon.

“The problem is between the development and the shop owners, the government is not involved per say, however, this is our environment, it is the duty of the government to maintain peace, that is why the governor insisted that we should be here and resolve it amicably.”

 

 

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