Ibrahim Idris Balarabe, Secretary General of Mile 12 International market, has said the traders’ belief in Islam would not allow them take advantage of customers, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and insecurity in the north.
He said this in a chat with our correspondent.
Balarabe said despite the negative financial implications caused by the disease, the fear of God as Muslims will not allow them take advantage of the situation.
He said they have ensured that prices of goods remain the same in the market.
“Prices of goods in this market is still the same. There is no change. You know we Hausa people are not like that because of our religion. We won’t say something is happening then increase prices of goods, no we don’t do like that. Prices of goods in the market before COVID-19, is still the same now,” he said.
Speaking on efforts to implement safety protocols in the market as laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), he disclosed that they shut all gates but three, to enable its organised task force enforce no face mask, no entry policy.
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“That is why you saw all our gates closed. We have like thirteen gates, we closed all the gates and left three. We don’t want people to just rush into the market without face mask or even sanitizing their hands or a thermometer to test their temperature.
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“So we provide hand sanitizers and temperature machines. If you are not with your face mask, we will not allow you enter the market, that is the order the government gave us. We even provided face masks for customers, the late senator Bayo Oshinowo, and minister of works, Babatunde Fashola brought some face masks for us,” he also said.
The market secretary general advises President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to Nigerians, who have called for the sack of service chiefs, over the lingering crisis in the north.
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Experts have predicted that the situation could affect food security, if Boko Haram terrorists and armed bandits continue to displace farmers in the north-east.
“Government has to look into the performance of the service chiefs. In the game of football, if a player causes his team to concede goals, the coach will substitute him. The government should change the security chiefs and appoint new ones. News of killings in Zamfara, Katsina, Maiduguri is saddening,” he opined.
On the planned relocation of the market to Agbowa in Ikorodu, by the state government, Balarabe maintained that they have resolved all the issues that triggered the decision made by former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
“The government said they don’t like seeing the market being dirty, and that there is usually traffic because of people selling wares along the road. We have done all that. As you can see, the market is neat and we did that ourselves. The person who said he wants to remove us from here, the almighty Allah has removed him,” he further said.