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Suleja IBB market: Open letter to Gov Umar Bago

Dear Governor, this is for patrons of the increasingly popular Suleja IBB market or even visit the town, I wish to speak the mind of…

Dear Governor, this is for patrons of the increasingly popular Suleja IBB market or even visit the town, I wish to speak the mind of many by urging you as the Niger State governor to come to our rescue.

From all indications you appear, unlike your predecessors, to be a hands-on leader. Therefore, I will plead with you to kindly find time, shun protocol, to visit the market and see for yourself how disgusting it is to pass through the market amid hordes of people who troop into it daily.

It has become a nightmare for many to enter and exit the market in one piece. With a few entrances on all sides, the narrow and even fewer passages and pathways do not allow one to conduct his or her purchase from any of the hundreds of shops in the market with the right frame of mind.

If you are a car owner, finding a convenient parking space is a herculean task except you succumb to the touts who man the few available ones. 

Why so? Because the roads meant for driving all around the market are clogged by push-cart traders who display their wares in the middle of the road. 

Recently, all the shops located at the frontage of the market were raised by a floor, some still unoccupied. Why can’t these stray traders who dot the roads move in there? 

Otherwise, if you happen to have come by okada or Keke, they ‘drop’ you at any of the congested entry points of the market, and the mayhem is aggravated when you are immediately confronted by the many wheelbarrow pushers, many who come with speed that, barring any luck, you may end up being run aground or with shredded clothes.

And woe betide you if you happen to visit the market when a trailer, trying to enter the market to off-load goods, happens to get stuck. That is why many of them off-load into warehouses around the town where smaller vehicles or bikes are later used to move such items into the market proper. 

Again, the deluge of squads of tax-collectors that lay siege on motorists coming from all routes have turned, what otherwise ought to be a smooth affair, into a nerve-wracking battle as the VIO, FRSC, task force and all sorts of revenue officials are all hell bent in robbing every motorist, okada and keke riders of their hard-earned money, all in the guise of raising internally generated revenue. 

Many may recall that this was how the Wuse market in Abuja was before the then FCT Minister el-Rufai sanitised it; today, it is a delight to all.

The Suleja market needs to be totally rehabilitated or at least open up the entrances, widen the inner roads, collapse some unviable shops, and provide ample parking space for cars, with designated areas for motorcycles and Keke Napep.

Therefore, to say the least, for sanity to be restored, the entire business structure of Suleja market needs a general shake-up in order for the ancient town, bordering Nigeria’s federal capital, to retain its glory and maintain its rightful place in Niger State. 

It does not stretch the imagination to say that we are still using archaic techniques to run the market in this modern 21st century. 

Dear Governor, a stitch in time saves a lot, only you can call the bluff of all those brazen officials, including the local ones, through joint effort with the Suleja local government. 

 

Mohammed Yahaya Kutigi wrote from Babandoki Avenue, Suleja GRA, Niger State

 

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