Small scale traders, selling wares on the walkway along Olaiya, Fakunle, Aregbe and Ayegbaju market, Osogbo, have lamented over the destruction of their kiosks by faceless agent.
It was gathered that the faceless individuals suspected to be thugs dismantled the kiosks and containers mounted on the walkway.
A trader, Taofeek Ibrahim while speaking with our correspondent on the alleged attack said they had been given notice by officials of the Ministry of Commerce to relocate to the Ayegbaju market but they never knew that the government would strike without giving them a chance to relocate.
Another trader, Sukurat Abubakar said although they were notified, they took some steps to settle the affair.
“When we came here, we were approached and asked to pay N200 monthly for using this space.
“After payment, we were given some receipts as a sign of payment.
“When we were approached by the ministry officials, we went to the State Assembly where the Speaker, Adewale Egbedun encouraged us to stay put, that the issue will be resolved.”
Abubakar lamented that they just heard that very early on Thursday morning, their shops had been destroyed.
“The Speaker came here on hearing our plight and immediately denounced the action.
“He called the Commissioner for Commerce who denied knowledge of the development.
Meanwhile, the State government through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had in a notice of relocation of illegal containers, warned the traders to remove their containers and relocate inside Ayegbaju market.
In a memo sent to all affected trader dated on 7th of November, 2023, which was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Bola Obiremi, a copy obtained said: “The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been watching with great concern the way and manner mushrooms, container shops have been springing up around Ayegbaju International Market, through defacing the aesthetic look of the market
“While the government is mindful of the hardship economy and has no intention of adding to the burden of anyone, the fact remains that a more conducive atmosphere is provided for your trading activities inside Ayegbaju International Market.
“You are therefore advised in your own interest to stop further operation at the unauthorized makeshift/container shop and relocate inside Ayegbaju market where all necessary facilities are provided for your comfort.
However, Osun state governor, Ademola Adeleke has directed an investigation into the night raid on the traders and the pulling down of their stalls.
The state ministries of Commerce and Environment also denied that any of their officials were involved in the raid.
In a statement signed by Olawale Rasheed, the spokesperson to the Osun State Governor, the ministries clarified that they have standard guidelines for the enforcement of government regulations.
“In this case, government agencies do not have provisions for night enforcement of regulations. So those unidentified individuals are definitely not staff or agents of the state.
“Mr Governor has subsequently directed the Commissioners of Commerce and Industry and that of Environment to investigate the matter and take immediate corrective action.”