Executives of Yaba Market in Yaba, Lagos Mainland of Lagos State, have appealed to Governor Babatunde Fashola to reopen the market which was shut on Tuesday following the clash between the traders and officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI).

Balogun of the market, Chief Festus Okoma, made this appeal yesterday while speaking with P.M.NEWS on the cause of the fracas and the need for the government to reopen the market.

Okoma absolved traders in the market from the attack on KAI personnel. He blamed hawkers selling curtains on the streets for the unwarranted attack.

“The fracas was caused by hoodlums who display curtains on albums for sale and not our traders. Our traders are law abiding citizens who are friends of KAI officials and have been supporting the Lagos State government,” he stated.

Commenting on the fracas, Chief Okoma said: “We were at the railway police station with some elders discussing the problems in the market when we received a call from one of our members that there was crisis in the market. We went there and succeeded in arresting one of the hawkers who caused the crisis and handed him over to KAI officials. The culprit is being detained at the Sabo Police Station.”

He expressed surprise over the closure of the market and the arrest of some of the traders, saying “our traders are peaceful and they are fully in support of the Lagos State government. We are appealing to the Lagos State government to reopen the market and release the arrested traders.”

Also speaking on the fracas, the president of the traders’ association, Okey Anorue, said: “KAI officials arrested some hawkers at the market. They were being taken to their office at Obalende when one of them jumped out of the vehicle and was crushed to death by another moving vehicle. The news of his death led to the protest by other hawkers and resulted in the attack on KAI officials.’’