The popular Oja Odan market in Yewa North area of Ogun state witnessed a poor economic turn out yesterday as commercial drivers plying the routes down tooled as a result of incessant extortion by the league of security operatives along Ilaro-Oja Odan road.
The drivers who started gathering themselves as early as 5am on Wednesday mounted a road block in front of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, thereby preventing any vehicular(commercial) movement towards the market and creating early morning pandemonium.
Inklinetimes however gathered that, the drivers, acting under a common voice, agreed at the last market day to down tool if the level of extortion along the border road did not improve.
A commercial driver who brought market women and goods from Lagos informed Inklinetimes that the amount of money being collected by various security operatives from Ilaro to Oja Odan is too high and painful.
According to him, “we have over 20 check points within a journey of ten minutes where bribes are being collected even without carrying any contrabands or banned products”.
Another driver who preferred anonymity explained that the security operatives always come around on market days alone to extort with harsh authorities not minding the plights of commercial drivers in making ends meet.
He further stated that, ” even though I brought market women and goods from Lagos today, I am ready to stay here and support the protest”.
On whether the protest was organized by the Unions, a commercial driver from Badagry said, “No”. According to him, “we decided to handle our case without involving the Unions so that it won’t be hijacked and turned to a violent issue”.
While the incident lasted, members of the two transport unions in Ilaro were seen addressing the aggrieve commercial drivers, promising to meet with the security operatives as they headed towards Ilaro-Oja Odan road, yesterday.
Oja Odan market is the biggest market in Yewa North area of Ogun state and among the greatly patronized markets in Ogun West area of the state as traders adore the market every five days both within and outside Nigeria, due to its nearness to a border town of Pobe, Bénin Republic.
When inklinetimes visited the East campus gate of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, today, normalcy has returned and “gidi traffic” has since been put under control.