Governor Seyi Makinde on Friday, commissioned the freshly reconstructed ultra-modern Akesan Market razed down by a midnight inferno early last year in Oyo town. He also declared the initiative as a right step in improving the state’s economy.
During the commissioning, the governor stated that the original business owners in the market will be given priority. He also spoke to the people of Oyo on Friday at the Town Hall in Akesan and promised the people that his government would build the Oyo-Iseyin road and resolve any obstacles that were delaying the launch of Atiba FM Oyo.
He extolled the qualities of the rebuilt market, stating that it has 528 lock-up businesses, 163 open stores, three warehouses, one cold room, a police station, an administrative block, a clinic, two toilet blocks, two parking lots, and four water hydrants.
“I can never forget that day in January 2020 when the Akesan Market was razed down by the fire. It was indeed a sad day. Many of you here lost everything in your shops.”
“But we made a promise then, that we would rebuild this market. We said we would do it in one year. Well, COVID-19 came, and even though we did not do a total lockdown in Oyo State, it still affected us somehow. But today, just 18 months after that sad incident, I am happy to hand over to you the newly and completely reconstructed Akesan Market.”
“Let me also say that everyone who had a shop in this market will get their allocations first before other shops are let out by the developers. Are you not proud of your new market? Did we add beauty or we did not add beauty to it? So, what you have here now is 528 lock-up shops, 163 open shops, three warehouses, one cold room, a police post, an administrative block, a clinic, two toilet blocks (one male and one female), two car parks, one inside and the other outside the market, four water hydrants at each complex.”
“We do not pray for bad things to happen. But they say once beaten, twice shy. So, we have taken that precaution that should there be any fire, it will be quickly put out.”
“We also have industrial boreholes and you can see that the roads have been properly networked and interlocked just as you expect to see in any modern market all over the world,” the governor said.
The governor also charged the traders in the market to assume personal responsibility for the market’s upkeep.
He said: “So, now you have your market back. It is beautiful. But you have to promise one thing. Yes, there is an administrative block here and their job is to make sure that everyone in this market follows the rules. We also have a Police post here to enforce the rules. But, if we don’t change ourselves and how we think, rules alone are not enough.”
“For example, you have been given toilets. But if the toilets are not kept clean and properly maintained, it will quickly fall into disrepair and then the local government authority will start talking about increasing the prices of the shops because maintenance cost is high. So, what I am saying is that you all should take personal responsibility for the maintenance of this market.”
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, stated: “After this market was burned on that terrible day, we were bewildered, and nobody ever believed something like this could emerge out of the same area again.” Although some people came to give us money, the amount they provided was insufficient to erect even two shops.”
“When Seyi Makinde came and said he would rebuild it and make it a befitting market, I was marvelled. And are we not supposed to thank him?”
“So, I really appreciate Governor Makinde’s effort on this. I thank him for what he has done for me personally and for the people of Oyo State entirely.”