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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Fish sellers protest colleague’s death, want association banned

By Ayodele Popoola


Fish sellers in Akure, Ondo State have lauded Governor Akeredolu’s temporary suspension of the activities of the fish sellers association in the state.
The fish sellers also appealed to the governor to make the suspension permanent by proscribing the association.
Recall that the state government suspended the activities of the association following the collapse of a building that led to the death of a fish seller, Dorcas Ajayi, popularly known as “Iya Gbenga” last week.
The fish sellers, in their numbers, protested against the leadership of the fish seller association in the state, alleging that the deceased was hiding from the association’s task force because of her inability to pay the balance of the due placed on them by the leadership of the association when the wall fell on her.
Consequently, the Governor, through his Senior Special Assistant on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, temporarily suspended the association, with a promise to investigate the cause of the building collapse, which led to the death of the woman
Speaking with The Hope, a fish seller, Mrs. Bolanle Oladimeji said the death of her colleague was a shock to her and that was the reason for their protest against the leadership of the fish seller association.
She said, “I am not happy at all. If not because the deceased was hiding beside the fallen wall, she won’t have met her untimely death. The annoying part of it is that those leaders were present at the scene, they could not rescue her. So, the government is justified”.
She called on the government to ban the association, saying it was not helping its members but rather adding to their woes.
Another fish seller, Mrs Iyabo Bodunde supported that the association should be dissolved. “If the government can take over let them do. We are fed up. They add more to our suffering. That is why the cost of fish is escalating. They will come with different types of dues and they will enforce them on us.
“If not because of N1,000, that woman would not have die; she had paid N1000 out of N2000. So we don’t need association again.”
She begged Arakunrin Akeredolu to intervene and grant their wishes, saying they did not know the essence of an association that always inflicts suffering on its members.
Also speaking Madam Olowoyo Alice, a businesswoman, said government ought to have proscribed the association and other trade associations because apart from the fact that they inconvenient their members with unwarranted taxes and fines, they contributed to the uncontrolled increase in the price of goods and commodities in the state, not excluding fish.
Meanwhile, the Developer of the collapsed building has been arrested in connection with the fallen wall.
The fish sellers have also demanded compensation for the deceased family, claiming that the deceased was the breadwinner of her family.
In response to their demands after police intervention, the developer has promised to compensate the family.

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