BY LAWRENCE ETIM.
Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Daughter of former Lagos State Governor and the state’s market leader, has denied she did not demand for the All Progressives Congress membership card from traders as a prerequisite to reopening the Abibatu Mogaji Model Market in Lagos. In a statement by her media consultant, Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday added that no money was demanded from the traders before the market was reopened on Monday.
Ten days earlier Tinubu-Ojo led a team of policemen to the market, popularly called Iponri Market and had it locked up. Market sources were quoted to have alleged that Tinubu-Ojo demanded APC cards and money from traders before the market was reopened.
However, the media consultant, Akosile maintain that the allegations were false.The statement reads in part, “To set the record straight, the Iyaloja-General (Tinubu-Ojo) did not demand N5m from the traders and at no time was money paid to her personally before the market was reopened.
“On the issue of her demanding APC membership registration card, the Iyaloja-General did not ask traders to present their APC membership cards as a prerequisite to the reopening of the market. In fact, only executive members of the Iponri market held meetings with the Iyaloja-General and those few people could not have registered for the entire market men and women.”
The reason for closing the market, Akosile explained was to correct some issues bordering on “poor sanitary condition, defacing the original structure of the market, converting shops to other uses, illegal toll collection by some unscrupulous elements in the market, non-payment of statutory and mandatory fees to the local government and illegal occupant syndrome.”
Gathering views from more market sources on Thursday, it was confirm that monies were collected. Indeed, a woman who sold cutlery maintained that money was demanded from the market. She said, “The market was fined. Each shop was asked to pay N1,000.”