A fish trader was beaten to pulp by two enforcers of Fish Sellers Association identified as Iya Lasila and Bolajoko for bringing Titus and Shawa variety of fish to the market in the Ojodu-Berger area of Lagos State.
During the attack which happened in the late hours of Friday, February 27, 2015 goods worth N20,000 were also reportedly destroyed.
It was learnt that the victim, Esa popularly known as Iya Ibeji, who hails from Egun and Bolajoko engaged in a scuffle and tore their clothes in the process.
According to Punch, she was ordered to stop selling the variety of fish so as to regulate a perceived domination of Egun fish sellers in the area.
But for the timely intervention of two transport workers, an angry mob would have lynched the two workers.
The victim who recalled her ordeal in the hands of the attackers said, “I just came out today when they (the enforcers) arrived. They scattered my market. I said I was not interested in the association again. Is it by force? They seized 10 pieces of my fish worth N4,000 on Wednesday. They have destroyed about N20,000 worth of fish again today (Friday). They must pay for it.”
Esa’s colleague, Tope Semede, said, “My small capital has reduced because of the rules of the association. Whenever a member has an event, we must buy N4,000 clothes and contribute N2,000 for the person. Whoever fails to comply toys with her goods. They will destroy it. Even the N200 we contribute every two weeks at the meeting could not be accounted for.
“Why is it that it is titus and shawa that people mostly demand they insist we must not sell? They are just being wicked.”
One of the attackers, Bolajoko said they would not have confronted Esa if she had complied with the association’s order.
She said “They (Egun fish sellers) sell about five other types of fish which we do not have. They met us here and we accommodated them. She is the only person that is still selling titus and shawa, others have complied.
“It is our chairwoman that collects the N200 contribution. I don’t know anything about it.”
On a different account, Iya Lasila said the association was depriving Esa of such right because she had not been attending the association’s meeting in a long while.
“She was at the meeting two years ago. We came here on Wednesday and seized eight pieces of fish, with the hope that she will do the needful, but she refused. Our leader is aware. Ask her whether she has membership card; she does not have.”