Alaba market remains shut, until… –Traders

The leadership of Alaba International Market on Thursday justified why it shut down the market following Wednesday’s clash between traders and tax collectors.

One person was reportedly feared killed and several others injured on Wednesday when traders clashed with some tax collectors, aka agberos, at the Alaba International Market, in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The warring factions, who were in their hundreds, deployed different weapons, including stones, cutlasses, wood and axes, during the affray.

A video clip on social media and confirmed to be from the clash, showed the two groups hurling cudgels at one another.

But in a statement on Thursday, the Alaba International Amalgamated Traders association said the need to protect lives and properties informed their decision to shut down the market. 

“The extreme extortion going on, especially between Volkswagen bus stop and Alaba market is becoming so unbearable as traders are made to pay a fully cleared container or a truck a whooping sum of N70,000 to N100,000 before they can be allowed to convey their goods to the market; it is the same for those supplying goods from their warehouses.

“Traders who cannot afford or who hesitate to pay are either beaten up or wounded. Sadly enough, only yesterday we woke up to the information that a new loading point was to be instituted on the already constricted Alaba road, which has already been taken over by petty traders who were given portions to display wares to the detriment of existing shop owners, also completely defacing this market of international repute.

“To ensure this issue was handled amicably, the Alaba amalgamated leaders quickly contacted the executive chairman of Ojo Local Government who promised to call them to order. We also contacted the interim caretaker committee chairman who also promised to call them to order but surprisingly on Tuesday, the 19TH of October, we were greeted with chaos in our market as hoodlums that we cannot quantify trooped into the market with guns, machete, and other dangerous weapons; shooting and maiming both buyers and traders who are doing their legitimate business to the extent that some were killed and several other wounded.

“To this end, we want to say enough is enough! The Alaba International Market Traders Association has decided to shut down the entire market till further notice to avoid further loss of lives and property and will remain shut till:

“These criminals are arrested and brought to justice. The Removal of all kiosks/petty traders causing blockade along Alaba international market road. That all toll collection points will be at the Volkswagen bus stop and the chemists’ bus stop. The Reduction in outrageous fees collected from containers, trucks, and other vehicles,”.
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