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The First Lady of Ekiti State, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has urged market women not to exploit the current economic conditions to impose additional hardships on the people of the state.

The wife of the Governor, who convened a meeting with Iyalojas (market leaders) from all local government areas of the state in her office on Wednesday, emphasized that her husband, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, is deeply concerned about the steep prices of foodstuffs and other household commodities in the state’s markets.

Dr. Oyebanji appealed to market women in the state to have mercy on the common man and not exploit the harsh economic climate to make life difficult for the people of the state.

The First Lady specifically demanded downward adjustment of prices of foodstuffs and other commodities that are not purchased with foreign exchange in the interest of the ordinary citizens who find the present situation of things difficult.

Dr. Oyebanji passionately appealed to market women not to contribute to the pangs of hunger being experienced by the masses but to join hands with the Oyebanji Administration to carry out measures that would reduce hunger and poverty.

The wife of the Governor charged the market leaders to take the message to all the markets in the state and engage traders on areas they can lessen the burden of the masses to complement what the state government is doing to ease the burden on the people.

“I want to plead with you my mothers, you are leaders in your respective markets, those commodities that are not affected by the dollar, let their prices come down. We should not take advantage of the present situation to take undue advantage of our people.

“Let’s go to our markets and engage other market women. We must look for ways to ameliorate the suffering of our people. This storm will not last but the little we can do to lessen the pain, let us do it for our people to be relieved,” she said.

The First Lady noted that her husband recently rolled out some palliative measures including a N12 billion economic lifeline including payment of arrears of salaries, pensions, increment in subvention to tertiary institutions, N331 million approved for purchase of food items for distribution in all local government areas, free transportation for workers and students, among others.

Dr. Oyebanji also explained that her recent visit to Irona Market in Ado Ekiti to give cash support and food packages to indigent traders and aged persons were part of measures to cushion the effects of the unfavourable economic situation in the land.

The First Lady disclosed her readiness to commence a market outreach tagged “Aya Gomina N Be Oja Wo” (Governor’s Wife Visits Markets) to all parts of the state to patronize local market women and also empower indigent traders.

The Iyaloja General of Ekiti State, Chief Habibat Ogunjobi, had earlier said the market women have always been partners of progress with Governor Oyebanji on the issues of development of the state

Mrs. Ogunjobi said the market leaders would take the message back to traders at the local markets with a view to ensuring that the government’s advice is effected to the benefit of the masses.

She said everything possible would be done so that the people of the state enjoy relief under the Oyebanji Administration.

The meeting was attended by the Commissioner for Investment, Trade, and Industry, Mrs. Tayo Adeola; Special Adviser on Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Kemisola Olaleye; and the Director-General of the Office of Community Communications, Mrs. Mary Oso-Omotoso.

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