Ekiti Indigenes Protest Against Fayose Over Sale Of Oba’s Market
Scores of Ekiti indigenes have protested against Governor Ayodele Fayose for selling the Oba’s Market in the state
The indigenes under the auspices of Ado Ewi Indigenes Rights Protection Forum and Ado Ekiti Youth Coalition, accused the governor of selling the market to traders, rather than allowing the local government to rent it out to users.
The protesters, who took their agitations to Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, said the indigenes were not comfortable seeing Governor Fayose selling off their heritage.
The market, located in front of Ewi’s market and formerly being controlled by Ado Local Government, was demolished in 2016 by Fayose and rebuilt into an ultra modern structure at the cost of about N3 billion.
Addressing the protesters at the palace, a retired Federal Director and Akuajo of Ado Ekiti, Olugbayo Ogunleye, said the protest became necessary to prevent Ado’s heritage from being mismanaged.
Ogunleye maintained that it was morally wrong for the market being initially controlled by indigenes to have been sold out without consideration.
Ogunleye jointly addressed the protesting youths with the Head of the Aladesanmi royal family, Prince Adedeji Aladesanmi and Babatolu of Ado Ekiti, Chief Kayode Owolabi.
Ogunleye, who spoke on behalf of the trio, expressed disappointment with how Governor Fayose had allegedly reneged on his promise.
“Our stand is apolitical. We are protesting to preserve the heritage of Ado Ekiti indigenes with regards to Oba’s market.
Virtually all over Africa, Nigeria in particular and Yoruba land in particular, Oba’s market IS never sold. It can be leased , rented but they are not usually sold outrightly.
“Again, control of such market is the constitutional rights of the local government and not that of the state, because it was a major factor in the internally generated revenue sources of the council.
“Our fear is that, once it is sold, that market is gone forever and the local government will become poorer. So, we are protesting for the retention of the Local Government and the need for it to be administered by the council; market is not for any state.
“They said people should come and pay as much as N2 million before allocated shops, rather than allowing them to rent the place. Even those occupying the place were not given preferential treatment. Where would those just trying to make ends meet get N2 million?”, he asked.
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