JUST IN; Traders cries out as Iyaloja seizes goods, dismantles stalls
A trader at Lafenwa Market in Abeokuta, Ogun State, has cried out over the seizure of her wares by the female head of the market, known as the Iyaloja, Alhaja Sidi Owe.
The trader, Adetoun Oyenekan, told newsmen that the Iyaloja had in collaboration with the Babaloja pulled down her stall, leaving her with nothing.
According to Oyenekan, who sells baby toys and stationery, the goods carted away by the market leaders is worth over N1 million.
Speaking in an interview, Oyenekan recounted that the Iyaloja had on Thursday engaged her in a fracas by pushing her.
She explained that the brawl ensued after the market leader slapped her several times and she retaliated.
This incident, she alleged, led to the seizure of her goods and the demolition of her stand in Lafenwa Market.
“I was passing by in the market yesterday (Thursday) when the Iyaloja pushed me, I didn’t say anything. She did it the second time and I asked why? I told her to stop acting that way. She started saying all sorts of things.
“The next thing she did was to get a red and white tape to seal off my stall. I protested, I asked her to tell me what I did wrong.
“They carted away my wares worth over one million naira. She slapped me several times and I retaliated. She pulled down my counter. She was supported by the Babaloja,” she narrated.
Oyenekan said she had appealed to the Babaloja and also reported the case to the Gbagura community, but nothing had been done yet.
“I am hungry. I cannot sell anything since yesterday. I am hungry and so are my children. I can’t even send them to school. Please come to my aid,” she cried out.
Contacted, the Iyaloja denied slapping Oyenekan, saying “she was the one who slapped me.”
The Daily Post reported that the Iyaloja did not deny carting away the trader’s wares, saying it was the punishment for assaulting a market head.
Mrs Owe expressed surprise that a market trader could have the effrontery to slap the Iyaloja.
Her words: “I don’t know where a market member would slap the Iyaloja. Everything happened yesterday. The woman doesn’t greet me before now. I was supervising a culvert project at the market when she suddenly pushed me. She pushed me again when I went to meet a friend in the market. Everybody was surprised.
“Instead of dragging issues with her, I, as the Iyaloja, went to call the task force to seal off her stall with tape. When they were about to run the tape round her stall, she started cursing the task force, so they stood away. When the task force could not do it, I took the tape, thinking she would fear me a bit. But she pushed me again.
“As I was struggling with her, she slapped me. I said should I turn the second ear to you. She said she would slap me again if I turn the second ear to her. I turned the second side to her and everybody rose up, blaming her for what she did. So, we ran the tape to seal off her stand.
“I have informed the Iyaloja of Egba and she called the Babaloja. The right punishment for whoever slaps the Iyaloja was applied. Moreover, it has never happened before, and we have rules and regulations in our market.”
Asked about Oyenekan’s goods, the Iyaloja retorted, “If she wants to sue us, she should go to court. The market’s lawyer would respond.”
Mrs Owe was also asked to state what should be done to release the seized goods, she said the woman ought to have organised people to apologise on her behalf.
The Iyaloja emphasised that it was Oyenekan who slapped her and she did not retaliate, saying “let the tears that came out of my eyes when she slapped me judge her if she lied. If she asked you to publicise it, please do; we are ready.
“If she kills a cow for the entire market traders, they would eat; but if the entire market traders kill just one cow for her, she would not be able to eat it. Nothing would happen to her and me too.”