Newspaper vendors in Ibadan metropolis have threatened to stop distributing newspapers from Monday if the alleged harassment of their members by the officials of the Oyo State Government continues.
The vendors, who complained that members of government’s Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo (YES-O) have been hiding under the ongoing urban renewal to harass and extort money from them in the last two weeks, said the situation has forced down sales.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the General Secretary, Newspaper Distribution Association of Nigeria, Babatunde Abimbola, said, they would not continue to stomach the situation where their members would suffer harassment from the government officials.
“We are not disturbing the programme of the government in any way. Why should my members be subjected to this kind of treatment just because they are doing their jobs. We have done all we could to explain to these people, but they have remained adamant and unyielding,” he said.
Remi Abimbola, a vendor who has a stand at Mobil on Ring Road, Oluyole Estate, confirmed the daily hostility of the government officials.
Also speaking, Sunday Alifia, Sales Representatives for Vanguard Newspaper complained that sales have consistently dropped since the last two weeks ‘due to the over-zealousness of these YES-O men’.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Environment and Habitat, Lowo Obisesan, has, however, denied ever sending any officials to harass or extort money from any one.
Promising to look into the complaint, he said anyone engaging in such activity is doing so on his own.