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Ultra-Modern Market: A generational heritage – Iyaloja

Hajia Afusat Dare isthe Iyaloja of Ultramodern market (Mandate) Adewole area Ilorin West Local Government, Kwara State. In this exclusive interview with OPEYEMI DANIEL, she speaks on her ordeal as the first trader to arrive the market after commissioning of the market, how she mobilized, persevered traders and buyers to patronize the market and what makes the market to be unique to others.

Hajia Afusat Dare, The Iyaloja of Ultra Modern Market, Mandate Estate, Ilorin
Can u brief us how it was in the beginning?
It was not easy in the beginning, you know, the start of any thing in life is always somehow difficult and rough, it takes perseverance and patience to succeed. This is the word I keyed myself into. I am the first to arrive this market when it was commissioned by his Excellency, DrBukolaSaraki, the then governor, now the senate president, and it took 3 months before people began to show up. I thought since it has been launched, traders would come from all sphere of the state to trade, so I went to acquire shop and I moved my goods in the second day of the commissioning.

Surprisingly, I could not see anybody but my sprit never told me to vacate my shop so I was not for ones, discouraged, I thought it within me that if I could labor and work for the patronage of the market, I would reap it, so I forged ahead, then, I did not know about “Iyaloja” so I was not doing it for the post, all what I know was that, if I could succeed in making people coming to the market, it would have positive impact on my own sales. I made fliers that was giving the people, I was going from one community to the other just to make people know that a market exist somewhere, I did hawk my goods and wherever I go, I moved with my fliers so it was two in one thing.Later, I went to register with them at Radio Kwara so that the advert of the market could reach out to a large body of people. Also the advice of the then commissioner for Commerce and Industry mama Ojeleye played a role in my stay.

How were you made the Iyaloja of the market?
Having seeing my activities and contributions to the market, one day, some people came to me saying they wanted me to be the “Iyaloja” of this great market and this was orchestrated by the people I have marketed for when the market was in isolation and since me being the “Iyaloja” is the voice of the people, it is what the people wanted and craved for, so,it came to pass.

We can see that Mandate is a market with strict rules and regulation, what brought about the strictness and how are you sustaining it?
At first, I want to thank the ministry of commerce and industry, their cooperation and the free hand they gave me made me have the confidence to set rules and regulation in the first place, the reason for the law is that, I studied other markets in the state and I realized that, lack of law causes so many abnormalities that’s we looked for a way of making our own here different. In Mandate, you cannot hear of anyone fighting or making unnecessary noise, from day 1, discipline is what we instill, the moment you come to my shop, requesting for shop or space, and I would highlight all the rules to you in which you must adhere to.

Some of the rules is that, we don’t permit anybody to come to the market without he/she bringing what he will sell, we desist bringing canter to the without coming along with the commodities to display on it. We don’t encourage meaningless clusters gossiping without minding their business, and if we allocate a space for you and you are absent in the market for one –two weeks in a row, we will throw away your canter and allocate your space for another person because some people will use the time they are supposed to trade with for partying. That is not allowed here. That is the more reason why I don’t take a penny from anybody here because I know that I can throw away your canter any time.

Here in this market, we don’t subscribe to sitting down in a place without having anything to do, that explain why you can’t see hooligans here, ones you see anyone here, he or she is here for a business, either to sell, to buy or to render a particular service.

What are the peculiarities of this market?

This is an Ultra-modern market, international market, a lot is expected from us and we are living up to expectation, we have goods that other markets don’t have, everything here are in different type, we have imported rice, we have local rice including Tapa rice.In term of cloth, we have traders who buy their goods from China; there are some who patronize London, lace of different types, Ankara, Guinea, among others. Some people do say, here is a market for the rich, but that is not true, our market is for all classes, the rich, the middle class and the poor. It is even more of the poor because all goods are affordable and easily accessed.

This is a government’s market, we are enjoying a lot of facilities here that others don’t enjoy, we have police station, fire service, pipe borne water with tap everywhere for all traders and customers to fetch with tarred road connecting everywhere together. We can see that the government really did a lot for us and they are still doing it.

Some are rumoring it that Mandate market, is the reason for the collapse of Oko-Olowo Market, what is your take on this?

Ultra-modern market cannot be the reason for any collapsed market, only God knows the beginning and the end of a thing and the reason for it. What I can say on that is, mandate is never a regional market, it is for everybody, Nigerians and the whole world, all tribes in the world has right to it including the Hausa. I see the whites here at times also plying their trade, so, the fact that the Hausas from Oko-Olowo came here to trade does not say the market should collapse, the problem is that the indigene of the soil that were supposed to carry on the activities of the market, (Oko-Olowo) followed them here to mandate and that made their market no more popular, vegetables in a very cheap price that their known for, have been shifted here.

The Hausa has the right to live anytime because the place is not their personal base. It is like a tenant, moving out of a building and the land-lord also abandoning his own apartment and followed the tenant into a rented apartment. This is not heard of, if the Oko-Olowo traders had stayed, the market would remain booming and remains the Oko-Olowo that we know.

What do you do here that others don’t do to avert fire outbreak incident?

This is the work of our developer, we cannot experience fire outbreak here, they have perfected everything from the beginning. I remember a time that fire engulfed Kano market; they sent some delegates from Kano to our market here in Ilorin to observe how mandate was built. They met me here and I told them that there are facilities in between each shop here so if at all there is fire outbreak, it would be difficult for it to cross top the other shops and if it must cross, before it does, the fire service officer might have performed their work on it. May God bless the initiator of this market because all what could lead to disaster had been well taken care of from the onset. This is indeed an international market. It is a generational heritage to households and a great asset to Kwarans.

Again from our own part, we don’t allow anyone to roast, fry or cook anything for sale in the middle of the market except for the stand allocated for it. The reason being that, the good and commodity of the traders are at stake. Also, if you must do any electrical work, there is a recommended electrician who does that for the traders. You don’t just bring your own electrician, you will go to the office and they will attach you to a special and stable electrician. He will be the one to determine the kind of wire and other materials for it inorder to guide against fake materials that could lead to fire outbreak.

What are you doing to ensure and sustain neatness in the market?

We are known for vegetables and other consumable goods and as such, our market must always be neat and attractive, that is why we have employed those that park refuse for us, they come here every 3 days and each shop pays a sum of N100 and those with just canters pay N50 weekly for the service. We also have those that goes round the market and pick nylons, sachet and other things related that could constitute nuisance in the market in as to make the market clean. You know, you can only keep Kwara clean by keeping your environment clean.
Ultra-Modern Market: A generational heritage – Iyaloja Reviewed by nationalmoonlight on October 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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