LASG Reopens Alaba International Market, others

The Lagos State Government has reopened Alaba International Market and some markets in the Trade Fair Complex, all located in Ojo, Lagos, after days of closure for improper waste disposal and other environmental infractions.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, said the markets were reopened after addressing most of the environmental issues, adding however, that the closure was not politically motivated, but rather, a step towards ensuring a clean and healthy environment around the business facilities.

He said: “The decision to reopen the markets follows a rigorous assessment and implementation of stringent environmental standards. These standards were set to guarantee that businesses in the state operate in a manner that is not detrimental to the environment and the well-being of people.

“I want to state emphatically that the closure of those markets has no ethnic or political motives behind it, as it was done to ensure cleanliness and environmental sustainability for the good of all residents.”

Wahab reiterated the significance of maintaining a harmonious balance between commerce and environmental health, stating that the enforcement action was a continous one, as government would not shy away from sealing any market and corporate organisations, found wanting.

The Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the agency worked closely with the markets’ stakeholders to ensure that they implemented necessary changes to meet required environmental standards, adding that it was important for markets to operate in a manner that was not only economically viable, but also environmentally responsible.

He said: “We have standards that each market in the state have to comply with, to make our business environment clean and healthy for both buyers and sellers. These include, but not limited to proper containarisation of waste within the markets; procurement of a double dino bins and placement in designated areas within the markets; engagement of bin keepers to monitor and sanitise the bins and its surroundings; zero tolerance for open burning of waste; zero tolerance for dumping of waste in the drainage channels.

Others, according to him, were engagement of market policing personnel to monitor the sanitation of the market, setbacks, medians and its surroundings to avoid indiscriminate dumping and apprehend violators; eradication of street trading on the road and median setbacks, which obstructs free flow of traffic and full payment of all outstanding tariffs, stressing that any violation would attract not only a penalty, but subsequent closure.

Gbadegesin urged residents and business owners to show commitment towards environmental sustainability, through proper waste disposal and adherence to environmental laws of the state, to prevent such closure that could negatively impact business activities.

Afenifere, Ohanaeze, PANDEF, Others Call for Restructuring, Nnamdi Kanu’s Release

At the end of the meeting, which discussed exhaustively, current developments in the country, a communique was issued and signed by Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark, SMBLF Leader; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader, Afenifere; Chief (Dr) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; General Zamani Lekwot (rtd), chairman, Middle Belt Elders Council, and former military governor, Rivers State; Dr. Pogu Bitrus, P
president, Middle Belt Forum and Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, FNSE, national chairman, PANDEF.

The communique while calling for the restructuring of the country and enthronement of true federalism as was originally entrenched in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions, stressed that without restructuring, the future of Nigeria and democracy remained bleak.

It expressed great concern and total rejection of the trend where certain sections of the country were continually marginalized in the number of states, local governments, and even appointments to the Federal Executive Council.

The group particularly requested that the South-East be appropriately represented in the Federal Executive Council, similar to other geo-political zones, insisting that Nigeria must always remain a country where all citizens and sections enjoy a full sense of belonging and equality.

On the 2023 presidential election, the meeting commended the political class, especially the leading presidential candidates in the 2023 presidential election for their recourse to constitutional means in redressing their grievances.

It said it had noted the Supreme Court judgment on the 2023 Presidential Election delivered on Thursday, 26th October 2023, which effectively brought to an end the legal processes on the conduct and outcome of the presidential election, and would, in the coming days, make a substantial pronouncement on the judgment;

The meeting called on the Federal Government to urgently salvage the naira, which continued to depreciate daily.

It advised that the Federal Government should take urgent steps to release Nnamdi Kanu since a court of competent jurisdiction had ordered so.

“We believe that doing so will promote peace and security in the South-East.

“We also believe that the Federal Capital Territory remains the national patrimony of all Nigerians and as such, condemn the present efforts by some to arrogate exclusiveness. This must be rejected and the promoters of such views should be called to order”, the assembly stated.

“The meeting insisted that President Bola Tinubu should take an urgent look at the 2014 National Conference Report, concluded by 494 of the country’s leaders, as well as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Report on true federalism,” the communique read.

The meeting chaired by the leader, Chief (Dr) E. K. Clark, had in attendance several national leaders including Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader, Afenifere; Chief (Dr) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide; Dr. Pogu Bitrus – President, Middle Belt Forum; Chief (Sen) Cornelius Adebayo, former governor of Kwara State; Obong Victor Attah, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, national chairman, PANDEF.

Others were General Zamani Lekwot (rtd), former military governor of Rivers State; General Lawrence Onoja (rtd), former military governor of Katsina State; Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ishaya Bamaiyi, former Chief of Army Staff; Chief Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra State; Chief S. N. Okeke, former chairman, Police Service Commission; Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, former chairman, NDDC; Chief (Barr.) Sola Ebiseni, national secretary, Afenifere and Amb. (Dr.) Godknows Igali.

The meeting also had in attendance, Amb. Okey Emuchay MFR, secretary-general, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange; Senator Musa Adede; Prof. G. G. Darah, Solomon Asemota SAN, DIG Potter L. Dabup (rtd.); Engr. Marcus Gundiri; Akin Oshuntokun; Dr. Akin Fapohunda; Prof Charles Nwakeaku; Dele Farotimi, Prof. Echefuna Onyebeadi; Jonathan Tsaku; Mr. Mac Emakpore; Hon. (Dr.) Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Prince Maikpobi Okareme; Jonathan Asake; Mrs. Elizabeth Jibrin; Chief (Hon) Olivia Agbajoh Esq. and Dr. Ken Robinson, among others.