By Abolade Adewale
At this time that the need for healthy living has come to the front burner of many people in Lagos, a serious blow has come on people as the Fruit Market located at Ikosi Ketu has been brought down.
Many people are in awe seeing the ruins of the Fruit Market, we have been hit below the belt age again but as typical of Nigerians, we will shortly get over it. However, it is many steps behind in the quest for healthy living.
The Fruit Market is the hub of fresh fruit purchase in Lagos. Many fruit sellers across the state come to the market to make purchases on daily basis. The market is quite easy to locate and trucks bringing in fruits to Lagos can easily offload and return to the hinterland.
It will interest you to know that the prices in the fruit market is almost the same bought in the hinterland. This has even made people coming from other states to buy these perishables with ease at this market. I am not sure this was put into consideration while carrying out the demolition.
Equally, what was the location plan for the market women? Where would the hundreds of sellers meet their buyers? It is unbelievable that every evening, touts are seen extorting money from hawkers and those engaged in street trading. Definitely, the street cannot occupy these women and they are turned into desolates.
This market made me know that there are people who are passionate about doing business. I met a fairly old Ijesa woman who sells banana in the market, you would never had thought she could express herself in English until a day when she said, “I attended Adeyemi College of Education. I was once a school teacher.” She had built a house from the proceeds made from this market. How many persons have sent to early grave of irrelevance.
When various markets of this nature are brought down for reconstruction, it has been observed that these markets are overpriced and it will no more be affordable to the people at the lower rung of the society. It gets so pricey that the structures will be left empty, a good example is Tejuosho modern market which has joined the growing list of unoccupied buildings in Lagos.
The rising tide of insecurity just got a boost with this step because children who depend on this market for livelihood might take to crime. Unfortunately, there were many jobless young people who depended on the market. They have just been further disparsed into the society.
There are various pros and cons to the demolition of an existing facility as such, Lagos aims to achieve a megacity status but everyone in the city needs to be carried along, if not, the damage would outweigh the glamour.
For people who grew in the marketplace, they will understand the psychology of people from that habitation. The damage done to the fruit market goes beyond the intended beauty that is envisaged. Electorates cannot be suffering with every new administration. Let’s plan right per time because healthy living will nosedive, legitimate business would be affected, prices of fruits will rise and other humans will become prey of this action. The stakeholders need to assure us that when the ultramodern complex is built, it would still be affordable to house fruits from across the country.