Displeased by the skyrocketing prices of food items in Ekiti markets, the monarchs under the Council of Traditional Rulers, in conjunction with Market Women Association of Nigeria, have commenced forceful reduction in prices of some commodities in all the towns in the state.
This led to a drama in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Tuesday, when the Iyaloja, Mrs Omowaye Oso, led a task force that went round some markets to force down ‘high’ prices of foodstuff on sale.
Similar exercises were carried out in major towns in the state under the supervision of the monarchs superintending over the communities.
The task force carried out the exercise at Bisi Egbeyemi Market at Okeyinmi and ordered a drastic reduction of prices of goods, especially food stuff which she personally sold to buyers who accused traders of selling at cut-throat prices on the excuse of the appreciation of the American dollar.
The foodstuffs affected by the new development were garri, local rice popularly known as “Buhari rice” and palm oil.
A bowl of garri which used to sell for N200 was reduced to N100, while 20 liters of palm oil which used to sell at N22,000 was reduced to N15,000 while a bowl of local rice was sold at the market at N400 as against N500.
Oso said the raid would be a continuous exercise as she and her team enjoy the backing of the state government and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, whom she said are also concerned about the exorbitant prices of goods and service in the town.
“The cost of goods especially foodstuff are too high in Ado Ekiti and it is the state capital that prices of goods and services should be the cheapest. The market women should have mercy on the poor because things are too expensive here unlike other Ekiti towns and villages.
“It is very unfortunate that market women in other communities don’t want to sell in their places, they know bring their wares to Ado because they believe they will sell it twice the price of what they supposed to sell it in their communities.
“As the Iyaloja, one of my responsibilities is that people don’t buy at cut-throat prices and we have the support of the state government, the Ewi and his chiefs in carrying out this exercise which will be a continuous one and be repeated in all markets in Ado.
“It is unfortunate that 20 liters of palm oil which sells at N14,000 in Ikole is being sold at N22,000 in Ado but we have sold it at N15,000 now as against the N22,000 they hitherto sell it.
“The Kabiyesi has said he does not want hardship for the people of Ado.
“We have forced down the price of a rubber of local rice from N500 to N400, garri from N200 to N100. Ado is now getting a bad reputation for high prices of goods and services but we will not allow this to continue.
“We will continue to carry out our raids until our market women comply and anyone who cannot comply must look elsewhere to sell her wares. If you can’t sell your Palm oil at lower prices don’t bring it down to Ado again.”