Despite an ‘executive order’ by the Seyi Makinde led administration, the Are of Ago-Are has relocated the kraal market in the town.
Even though not all traders have moved away from the old kraal market, majority have moved. This move, many residents who spoke with OYOINSIGHT.COM explained, is dangerous to the peaceful atmosphere in the town and its socio-economic development.
How It Started
The ancient Ago-Are town is divided into three areas namely: Ito, Ageere, and, Sando. The three domains are headed by different traditional rulers namely: Baale Ito, Alageere, and Are.
The only kraal market in the town authorized by the government is located in Ageere quarters. However, the Are of Ago-Area, Oba Abodunrin Kofoworola recently constructed another Kraal market in Ito quarters.
These two kraal markets, the one authorized by the government and the newly-constructed one, are not under the domain of the Are of Sando and the decision to relocate the kraal market will, according to some residents, cause enmity between Ageere and Ito quarters.
Following complaints from residents, the state government in a letter to the Caretaker Chairman of ATISBO South LCDA through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ordered a stay of order on the relocation of the cattle market with immediate effect adding that necessary measures will be taken by the government.
However, despite the order by the government, efforts to relocate the market by the monarch did not stop.
In a bid to prevent this move and express their displeasure, various stakeholders in the town held a joint meeting on the 25th of September.
At this meeting, the stakeholders lauded the decision of the state government, adding that the move by the Aare of Ago-Are is a flagrant disobedience to the directive of the State Government and one that is capable of causing a breach of the peace, law and order in the Community.
“The meeting note that the recent clearing of a new site for the Community Kraal and holding of a Prayer Session at the said site by the Are of Ago-Are is a flagrant disobedience to the directive of the State Government and one that is capable of causing a breach of the peace, law and order in the Community.
”The ATISBO South Local Council Development Authority under the leadership of the caretaker chairman of the ATISBO South Local Council Development Authority, Chief Makanjuola Ayoola Joe, is hereby charged to promptly give effect to the State Government Circular directing the stoppage of the planned relocation of the Kraal by the Aare of Ago-Are from the present location to a new location, as doing otherwise would amount to a dereliction of duty capable of leading to a breach of the peace in the community.
“The Police and other security agencies are also charged to take steps to stop the illegality of the Are of Ago-Are, who has decided to purportedly and unilaterally relocate the community Kraal from its present location and without considering the implications of such moves for the peace, security and economy of Ago-Are community.
“The joint stakeholders at the meeting calls on the State Government, the Atisbo Local Government; the Atisbo South LCDA, the Police and other Security Agencies as well as other well-meaning Individuals and Groups to rein in the Are of Ago-Are to desist from acts capable of causing breach of peace and refrain from attempting to relocate the Kraal from its present location as such action will be stoutly rejected using all legal means.
“We also call on all the people of Ago-Are, both indigenes and non-indigenes to eschew all acts capable of breaching the peace and to exhibit maximum patience in the midst of provocations, while trusting the relevant authorities to take appropriate action,” the communique issued at the end of the meeting added.
Monarch Disobeys ‘Govt Order’
However, despite the ‘order’ by the government, the monarch on Monday opened the new kraal market.
“Even though traders were not forced to move, the monarch held various meetings with traders, especially fulanis to divide them and ensure they follow him.
“The most important people in the market are Fulanis who bring cattles and some of them have moved with him,” a resident, who preferred anonymity, told this newspaper.
The source alleged further that the LCDA chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ayoola Joe, is working hand-in-hand with the monarch because he failed to follow the directive of the state government which mandated him to order the police to stop the relocation.
“Rather than appealing that people should allow both markets co-exist, yesterday, he went to the house of the Chairman, Cattle Breeders and Sellers Association, Alhaji Sakariyau to plead with him to allow the two Kraal to stay which is contrary to what the government had directed. However, Alhaji disagreed and told him the government had already stated that there was no need for a new Kraal market.
“The LCDA Chairman and the monarch are collaborating to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in this town,” the source alleged.
An Official Meeting..
Upon the discovery that the various attempts to stop the relocation had proven futile, on the 29th of September, a meeting organized by the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was held with various stakeholders in the town at the LCDA secretariat to find an amicable solution to the issue.
Even though the Aare was absent, he was represented.
At the end of the meeting, a decision was reached that the new Kraal market should be closed because it was not needed.
However, despite this decision, this newspaper gathered that on Thursday, the new Kraal market was still open
Trouble Looms, Residents Lament
The relocation of the Kraal market, residents said, pose a great threat to the peaceful co-existence in the town. According to residents, this security threat is multi-dimensional because it can lead to enmity between Sondo and Ageere where the old and new markets are located.
However, more dreadful is the fulani herdsmen crisis this move can fester. Residents who spoke with this newspaper echoed that the relocation will lead to a split of the Fulanis who trade in the cattle market and has the potentials to cause an inter-ethnic crisis in the community.
The Chairman, Isokan Ilu Ago-Are Development Union, Alhaji Abdulkareem AbdulAzeez also told this newspaper that the economic impact will directly affect the day-to-day activities of the town. He noted that the market is the economic hub of the town and its unplanned and unnecessary move means residents will now spend between 600 800 percent more on transport alone.
He maintained that only the government, not individual, has the right to relocate the market.
Another resident, Alhaji Najeemdeen, who is the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in the town, also maintained that the move is dangerous to the peace of town noting that it is quite painful the local government chairman has refused to carry out the directive of the state government.
“I was invited to the meeting where the government ordered that no relocation should take place. Everybody agreed at the meeting that they will later relocate the kraal but its not now because all the necessary things are not on ground.
“The move will cause crisis. A place where you dont want to go and you are being forced to; that alone is a crisis. It will cause crisis because individuals have no choice to move. The decision is against the wish of the government and the people.
“Even though Kraal is owned by the Yorubas, majority of the traders are Fulanis and they are pressured to trade their cattle at the new Kraal. We are now heading to anarchy. Even though there is a new circular that states that we should not leave the old kraal but the local government chairman who is supposed to enforce the order has been too silen, ,” the clergyman said.
LCDA Chairman, Aare React
However, when contacted the LCDA chairman explained that he is working round the clock to solve the situation on ground based anything that comes from the state government.
He maintained that it was not stated in the letter that the relocation should not take place.
“What order? We only obtained a go-ahead and we have even shown the land where this thing will be situated. If we are financially buoyant we would have gone there and ask for a place suitable for the two parties,” he said.
Speaking on the allegations that he is supporting the relocation, he said, “The relocation is nothing within my power. The market belongs to the state government in conjunction with the local government. I am the one that even took a reminder letter to the ministry of Agriculture and they said there are somethings that needs to be put in place and there is nothing the council can do. That place will gulp some amount of money.”
He stressed that he cant enforce any decision because what really needs to be done is that all stakeholders should come together and work hand-in-hand to solve the situation.
“Even the day before yesterday, I was the one who called the police to ensure there is no breakdown of law. There is no problem by the abiding grace of God.”
He, however, added that irrespective of the current situation on ground, the reality is that the relocation of the Kraal market is long overdue noting that the current place is not conducive and also located in the heart of the town, which is very wrong.
When contacted, the Are argued that there is no controversy regarding the relocation. He however refused to give any further details.
“There is no controversy there. You have better come and see things for yourself, don’t ask me anything, I don’t know you,” he said before ending the call.