Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde late on Monday, 5 April, 2021 met with stakeholders of the Auto Spare Parts Market, Agodi Gate, Ibadan.
The meeting, which was held inside the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, had in attendance leaders of the different segments of the market.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor had earlier told the market leaders to join him at the meeting to enable the government and stakeholders to find common grounds on the problems of the market.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Governor Makinde told representatives of the market that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the immediate palliative measures the government could put in place to support the victims of the Saturday morning inferno.
He said that the meeting would also find a lasting solution to the future of the market.
He said: “Just like I said when I visited you yesterday (Sunday) to see the extent of the damage caused by the fire incident at the market.
“I wanted us to see first so that we can discuss the immediate palliatives we can provide to support our people out there.
“Secondly, I want us to discuss the future of the market itself. So, that is why we are here today and I believe that at the end of this interaction, we should, at least, have a path forward. There is nothing the government can give you that can be compared to the properties and goods that have been lost to the inferno.
“However, we still have to try to assist you. What is important is, we do not want to witness an incident like that again in this state.
“So, we have to be open and it is not about blame game. I understand the fire started around 11 p.m. the previous night but the information did not get out on time and people were trying to see if they could contain it themselves.”
The governor assured that his government would do everything possible to restructure the market, while also taking all decisions in the best interest of everybody.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting that lasted about an hour, the Babaloja of the market, Alhaji Waheed Azeez, appreciated the governor’s gesture of receiving them warmly.
He also confirmed that the governor accepted the request put forward by the stakeholders on the plan to rebuild the market.
He maintained that the governor promised to send representatives to the market to help in the reconstruction efforts.
He said: “Our meeting went smoothly and we enjoyed our discussion with the governor.
“At the meeting, the governor accepted to give us all we requested for and he prayed for us as well. He equally promised that he would do the right thing for us.
“On the relocation of the market, he promised us he would not move us away but repair the market to the level we want.”
The meeting had in attendance the following representatives: President of the market, Alhaji Morufu Olanrewaju; Baale, Alhaji Raimi Ewebiyi; Babaloja; chairman, Car Division, Hakeem Adebayo; Secretary-General, Akinyele Kehinde; chairman, Tyre Division, Rasheed Ayinde; chairman, Iron Division, Muili Olola and the chairman, Lorry Division, Taofeek Lobi.