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Edo traders protest against exploitation, multiple unions in markets

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Angered by the rising cost of commodities in Edo markets, some traders in various markets in Benin City, yesterday, protested against alleged exploitation by different commodity unions operating in the state.

The traders, particularly from the New Benin Market, alleged extortion and exploitation by different commodity unions, describing the development as unacceptable.

The protest, however, disrupted commercial activities in parts of Mission Road and its environs.

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The traders stopped at different points within New Benin Market to register their displeasure on activities of market unions not recognised by the state government, noting that the development had negatively affected their businesses.

Speaking on the rationale for the protest, their spokesman, Lucky Orukpe, said the traders decided to protest against the proliferation of unions, whose members force traders to register and dictate the cost of commodities, because of the negative impact on their businesses in the market.

He said the idea of forcing traders to join different unions had led to increase in the cost of items and products.

Protesters from Ekae and other markets said they were stopped from selling food items and commodities for refusing to join the unions and appealed to the Edo State Government to intervene and ameliorate their plight.

They also appealed to the state government to address the proliferation of different unions in the markets with a view to reducing the cost of commodities.

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