The Lagos State government has announced the immediate re-opening of Mile 12 Market, a major foodstuff market in the state, following its closure after ethnic clashes.
In a statement by Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for Information and Strategy, on Thursday, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the decision to re-open the market followed satisfactory meeting and agreement reached with all the stakeholders involved in the operation of the market.
“The re-opening was also as a result of the outcome of the stakeholders meeting held between the market men/women, traditional leaders in the Agiliti and Maidan communities, residents and Community Development Association (CDA),” said the statement.
The Mile 12 market was shut on March 3 after a clash between commercial motorcyclists and residents in the area escalated into an ethnic crisis.
About a dozen lives were lost and property destroyed in the ensuing violence, which pitched youth from the Hausa ethnic group against their Yoruba counterparts.
Thursday’s decision to re-open the market came on the heels of an agreement by the traders and community leaders, on Wednesday, to relocate the market to “another suitable and more convenient location.”
Mr. Ayorinde said part of measures aimed at bringing sanity into the market include restricting all market activities within the market area as well as a proscription of street trading in the area.
The commissioner added that it was further agreed trading activities in the market would henceforth be carried out in a clean and hygienic environment.
“Other major agreements arrived with a consensus amongst the various stakeholders include: relocation of the market to another suitable location as the existing market can no longer contain the traders; ban on the use of commercial motorcycles (Okada Riders) in the area; peaceful co-existence amongst all ethnic groups in the market and environs; and removal of all shanties and illegal attachments/structures within the market area,” Mr. Ayorinde said.
He further said the stakeholders agreed that it is only in an atmosphere of peace and co-existence that their various business and trade can thrive.
He assured that Lagos is a home for all, and the state government would continue to provide the enabling environment for every investor to thrive.