By Bukola Hameed, Oyo
The Oyo state governor, engineer Seyi Makinde, has reiterated his government’s resolve to making life better again for the Akesan market traders, who lost their properties to the shocking and devastating January 5 inferno.
Seyi Makinde gave the words of assurance in his speech today at the flag off ceremony of Ultra-modern Akesan market, while adding that Mortayus Nigeria Limited, an Oyo-based company is handling the project, and that ” this means the fate of the new Akesan market is in the hands of Oyo people”.
The governor however debunked rumours that he gives contracts to some set of individuals in the Niger Delta states, saying this is the handiwork of mischievous people who detest development.
” We are not bringing contractor from Ibadan, nor any other states or towns in Nigeria; the contractor is from and of Oyo here. Let the doubting Thomas come and see the new market after completion and tell us whether it worths it or not”, Mr governor said.
He said categorically that the funds to be used for the rebuilding of the market is available and accessible, adding that the process is in two phases; phase one will be completed in six months time after which shops owners will return to business.
The governor however said the over 400 years market will wear a new look , and that all efforts required will be made such that, even if such an event happens again, it wouldn’t be as devastating as it did.
According to the governor, the new Akesan market will have a cold room, fire hydrants, water reticulation system, electrification, erosion and, traffic control systems among other facilities.
The chairman of the host local government, Alhaji Saheed Arowosaye Adeyemi in his speech said, ” the rebuilding of the historical Akesan market is central to the socio-economic growth of the whole of Oyo state, not only Oyo and environs”.
His statement, ” the governor is making history today for preserving this historical monument by giving it a massive face lift. And we are happy to be part of this lofty history.
Upon completion, the new Akesan market, which will gulp the sum of 781,716, 820,15 ( seven hundred and eighty-one million, seven hundred and sixteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty naira, fifteen kobo, will contain 520 lockup shops, 168 open stores, an administrative block and 3 ware houses. Other facilities include a befitting clinic, toilet facilities, portable water and Police post”.
While responding to questions, the contractor, Alahji Yusuf Seme(Mortayus) established that in the next six months business will start again at the new Akesan market.
The Iyaloja of Oyo town, Alhaja Chief Adepeju Khadijat Bakare expressed her joy over the development. She said, ” we are happy that, though, the inferno razed our goods and money 7 months ago, we survived the hurdles and hardships. Today is an indication that the hope is not lost. We are hopeful. And the governor has assured us that this year, 2020, marketers will be back in their shops. I’m also happy especially, for the Alaafin of Oyo that this is coming during his reign and all indigenes and residents of the ancient town”.
In his speech at the flag-off today, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, expressed gratitude to the number one citizen of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde, for his love and for keeping his promise made on January 8 when he came to commiserate with those that lost their livelihood to the tragic inferno. Oba Adeyemi however urged all indigenes of Oyo to keep eagle eye on the project as, ” all hands must be on deck to bring back the Akesan of our dream”.
At the flag-off ceremony today, other dignitaries were the deputy governor, engineer Rauf Olaniyan, Chief of staff, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka, the SSG, Mrs Olubanwo Adeosun, head of service, Mrs Ololade Amidat Agboola and commissioner for environment, Hon Idowu Oyeleke.
Others are the local government, as well as some LCDA chairmen, the chairman of Oyo State Road Management Association, OYSRMA, Honourable Kamil Akinlabi, Chief Imam of Oyo land, Alhaji Mosud Ajokidero, Honourable Segun Taiwo, Oyo zonal CAN chairman, Revd Akin Alabi, and Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, the Oyomesis and other traditional leaders, among others.
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