Oleh Market Protesters Are Manipulating The People – Ikpokpo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Oleh Market Protesters Are Manipulating The People – Ikpokpo

Malik Ikpokpo
Posted: May 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Awele Ogbogu

Sir Ithiako Constantine Malik Ikpokpo, Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, has played down protests over the recent takeover of Oleh market by the council, describing it as a ploy by the protesters to turn the people against the council.

Ikpokpo who spoke to Independent during an exclusive interview Wednesday in Asaba on the situation at the market said that some of the market women have even apologised to him over the protests after realising the truth about the council’s position on the matter.

“The market was in a mess. When the women came to the council two days ago, they said they are sorry. The toilets have not been used for the past 11 years but now, one of them said she can even eat there.  If I’m not having money to clear the market and I see an opportunity to do so, will I not use it?

“Because of the constitutional provision, all the markets are to be run by the local governments, including any market that may have been built by the community, it becomes a property of the council,” he said.

Ikpokpo said that the community showed understanding with the law by “approaching the council 28 years ago to collect levies due to it and remit same to the council but the present leadership of the Oleh Community Development Association (OCDA) reneged on the agreement.

“The community leadership as presently constituted began to abuse the process and we realised that levies had not been remitted to the council in the past 12 years,” he said.

Speaking further, he said  “since last year,  we have been talking with the leadership of the community but they have been playing games and trying to instigate the people against us by telling them that we are trying to take the market from them.”

He said that the council had approached traditional rulers on the matter because “anywhere they take the market, we will go there and collect our levies.”

He asked, “why is the OCDU complaining, if they are the owners of the market, why did the association bid to manage the market?”

He said that a consortium won the bid to manage the market and there is no going back on the decision as it has made the market better.