Why we won’t Vote For Obaseki-Edo Market Traders Open Up
Edo State market traders have voiced their opinions over their choice of Gubernatorial candidate in the Edo September 19th election.
Speaking with a cross-session of traders cut across the major markets in Benin Metropolis majority of respondents shared the bitter experience they have encountered with agents of Obaseki’s task force.
They also decried the harsh human environment in which the Government makes the traders go through in other to earn a living for themselves.
At Oliha market the situation of the market traders is harrowing and pathetic, they accused Obaseki’s tax force on double taxation and insensitivity saying the lack of compassion on the part of the Government towards the market traders is the major reason they won’t be voting for Obaseki and the PDP.
At New Benin Market the story line was not different with many lamenting the dirty and deplorable state of the market over the inability of the government in providing a healthy environment for them to trade.
The same complaints of double taxation were their plight as well.
At Oba and Uselu markets their cases were similar to other complaints by market traders. Double taxation, unfair treatment and poor electricity, as well as the harsh working environment created by the government and its tax force, were their bane.
The experiences shared by Ekeosa market traders are heartbreaking and worrisome.
Ekeosa market is located along Sakponba road, stretching across second and third east circular (Murtala Muhammed Way) roads at the very heart of Benin City.
Their experience would move you to tears. They complained about the constant harassment and imprisonment of their market traders over different trumped up market violations.
“Obaseki is the most tyrannical governor we have ever had in Edo State, all our members have been thrown to jail over different charges that are alien to us as market traders.
Many of us are widows and single parents that are just set out to earn a legitimate living but today the majority of us are ex-convicts because we decided to come to the market and trade.
I have been to jail twice because of Obaseki’s funny and obnoxious laws that we don’t even know if they exist. I hawk bottled water and other soft drinks to earn a living and I hardly make up to 2500 naira a day. This money is what I am expected to feed my three kids as I am a single mother.
These products we hawk are not even ours as we can not afford to buy and sell our own market. So what we do is that we borrow the goods from some intermediary and in turn quickly sell and keep the little profit to ourselves.
Obaseki’s agent will just swoop in on us and arrest us, confiscate the goods for themselves and then finally we find ourselves in jail for three weeks.
At a time their insensitivity was at the peak when a BLACK Maria was stationed at 3 rd junction in Benin City to ferry us to the prisons after a mobile court must have fined us huge charges that are always beyond our reach to pay.
It was only recently when a policeman shot and killed a taxi driver that youths in the area burnt the Black Maria.” – Linda Okojie Ekeosa market trader.
Edo state today has the highest number of people in jail across the state because of strange market trading laws.
These market traders never committed any criminal offence but today majority of these people who are widows and single mothers are left at the mercy of the Government.
They have concluded on voting anybody else other than Godwin Obaseki whom they describe as a despot.
At Santana Market and Uselu market the situation and complains were not different, they vowed to show Obaseki the way out with their votes.