LAGOS – Abibatu Mogaji Model Market, popularly known as Iponri market has been re-opened after being locked for ten days by the state’s market leader, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
All traders were allegedly mandated to pay a fine of between N500 and N1000 by Saturday February 16 2014, the defaulters of which have been fined N5000.
It was learnt that Tinubu-Ojo, popularly called ‘Iyaloja General’ by the traders, had demanded a payment of N5m from the traders, and the officials delegated to open the market also made an extra demand of N200,000, but the traders bargained and paid them N50,000.
Tinubu-Ojo, who is the daughter of former Lagos State Governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, was alleged to have also demanded that all the marketers must tender their APC membership.
When approached, the council Chairman, Tajudeen Ajide, allegedly told reporters that the market was reopened because the traders had agreed to pay all outstanding debts.
“We just built two modern toilets and we are charging them just N1,500 per month; tell me, are we asking for too much? The value of what they sell in some of the shops is over N20m. So, how is it that they cannot afford that small money? The market committee gave these shops out for between N20, 000 and N30, 000. How can we have development in Nigeria if we keep doing things like this?” he reportedly said.
The market had been closed down on Saturday February 8 by the market leader, for no given reason. The traders had however speculated that the crackdown was the fallout of a fight between a woman loyal to Tinubu-Ojo and a member of the market committee. The woman was said to have been locked up in a police cell, which made the state market leader angry.