There was fear and apprehension on Wednesday at some major markets in Lagos State, as the traders shut their shops and besieged the local government offices to get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as instructed by the leadership of the market ahead of the 2023 general election.
LEADERSHIP checks show that the markets were closed down to enable traders to go for their voter cards. The traders, especially from Lagos mainland and its environs, besieged PVC centres, defiling the sun and rain for the voters registration exercise.
Consumers who had gone to the market to procure foodstuffs and other items from markets across Lagos experienced difficulties doing so as the traders informed them of the decision of the market leadership to shut down the markets for two days to obtain their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) before the deadline date.
According to them, the decision to embark on a two-day suspension of business activities in the markets for the PVC collection and registration was taken to prevent their members from being affected by the July 31st deadline announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A trader who spoke on condition of anonymity said the directive to mobilize the traders to get their PVCs was taken in a meeting of market leaders in the state led by the Iyaloja -General of Lagos, Mrs. Iyabo Tinubu-Ojo.
“The Iyaloja has told the market leaders to mobilise the traders to collect their PVC, that is why we did not open our shops today. In fact it has caused apprehension in the markets because many of the traders and buyers were not aware before coming to the market to sell and buy things,” he said.
Commenting on the development, the Babaloja of Alaba Rago market 1, Ali Malami said the traders considered the PVC collection and registration important to the ongoing electoral process and decided to put their business activities on hold.
Malami explained that 24 hours would have been assigned for the exercise but that it was extended to Thursday to allow everyone to complete their exercise before returning to their businesses.