The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has condemned the arrest and detention of the President, Ekiti State Market Women Association, Mrs. Waye Oso, by the police.
Osho was arrested on Monday evening in her Akute home on an allegation that she allocated land for market stalls at the Awedele area of Ado Ekiti to some women, extorting N93m in the process.
The APC, which alleged that the police were acting on the orders of Governor Ayodele Fayose, described the act as “impunity taken too far.”
It further alleged that the arrest of the woman, who is also the Iyaloja of Ado Ekiti, was a continuation of the clampdown on influential individuals, who refused to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, some traders at the Erekesan Market, Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday, protested at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, where they alleged that they paid N19,000 each to Osho without being allocated spaces at the Awedele Market.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved market women, Mrs. Joke Aduloju, a cloth seller at the market called on the government to address the issue.
She said, “Traders in all the units in the market including pepper sellers, sellers of dresses, shoe sellers and many others paid the money. But it was regrettable that some have yet to be allocated spaces.”
But the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Taiwo Olatubosun, in a statement on Tuesday expressed concerns over the governor’s relentless humiliation of the market women leader over the years.
He stated that the govenor had been in a running battle with the woman for being sympathetic to the erstwhile APC government.
Olatubosun said that the allegation raised against Osho was untrue because the land in question belonged to the Odu’a Investment Company which operated as an independent entity.
He said, “Former Governor Kayode Fayemi established a private partnership scheme with the Odu’a Investment Company Limited that would empower vulnerable women and youths in the state.
“Fayemi directed the Ekiti Enterprise Development Agency with Seyi Ayeleso as the Director-General to help Ekiti women get a place within the Odu’a complex in Ado Ekiti. This land belongs to the Odu’a Investment Company Limited. He wrote to Odu’a asking for their approval and it was granted.
“Odu’a and the women signed an agreement for a 25-year lease to the market women at no cost to them but they would only pay N3,000 per shop to Odu’a on completion. All documents giving details of the above are still in EEDA office for verification.”
The APC spokesman expressed surprise at the manipulation of these facts to give an impression that Osho had committed a crime, saying the government had no business with the Awedele market.
Olatubosun added that this was the second time in the last three months that the market women leader would be harassed by the governor who “has vowed to make life difficult for her until she openly pledges loyalty to the ruling party.”