The leadership crisis rocking traders in Oyo State took a dangerous dimension on Thursday when over 500 traders stormed the state government secretariat at Agodi, Ibadan to protest against what they described as a conspiracy to install Alhaji Yekini Abass as Babaloja-General of Oyo State by some members of the executive council in Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration.
They also alleged that the plan is also supported by some impostors from Canteen Operators Association and Artisans Association planted into the Market Advisory Council by the past administration for political reasons.
Speaking with the journalist shortly after the protest, the President of the Coalition of Oyo State Market Youth Forum, Adetunji Sikiru Adetunji popularly known as Sikol described the alleged attempt by those behind the plan to install Alhaji Yekini Abass, also called Y. K. Abass as enemies of the state and traders in Oyo State.
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According to him, “The Traders Advisory Council constituted by Engr Seyi Makinde is a fraud and we would not allow it to stay. We are traders, it is unacceptable to lump bricklayers association, musical instruments hiring association, canteen operators association and Furniture association with our associations for political reasons.
“We know those who belong to traders associations, we know our leaders and we know those who have shops in our various markets. It’s impossible to allow impostors to hijack our business, more so, all they wanted is to use our associations to defraud politicians who are desperately looking for votes to buy, likewise tricking the unsuspected traders into applying for illusionary loans after paying non-refundable fees.
“We have said this before and we are repeating it today that we challenge those in the Market Advisory Council to lead a team comprising of the state Commissioner for trade and industry, the chairman the House Committee on Trade, the Commissioner for Justice and security agencies to their shops, where they have their investments, show them the businesses they are into and why they want to remain with traders in the state.
“After the investigation into the activities of each member of the Advisory Council both government and members of the public will know why Oyo State Market Advisory Council should be dissolved, of course, this will put end to the crisis rocking traders’ associations in Oyo State.
“We have elected, ratified and sworn in Alhaji Sunmaila Aderemi Jimoh as the Babaloja-General of Oyo State before Y. K. Abass fraudulently lobbied late Olubadan of Ibadanland into making him Babaloja-General, which a state High Court in Ibadan had recently nullified and warned Y.K Abass not to parade himself again as Babaloja-General Of Oyo State.
“We have likewise elected and inaugurated Alhaja Saratu Aduke Konibaje as Iyaloja-General of Oyo State before the rebellions and saboteurs collaborated with enemies from outside to destabilise the state with their illegal campaigning for an unknown candidate, Princess Azeezat Folasade Nurudeen who never had any shop in the state nor engage in any business activity in the state.
“What happened here today is purely illegal and unconstitutional and must not be allowed to stand. We shall protect the decision of our leaders who elected leaders for us and not stranger will be allowed to hijack our associations and businesses in the state.”