Many residents of Ikorodu in Lagos state have become whistleblowers following the rising spate of attacks by the Badoo cult group.
Community leaders advised residents to procure whistles that would be used to raise the alarm when the suspects invade their residence.
This has encouraged many households to own whistles, thereby creating an upsurge in the cost of the device from its usual N100 cost price to N200 or even N250.
Interviews with some traders in Ikorodu markets revealed that the call on residents to acquire whistles as a strategy against alleged cult killings in the area has created a new source of livelihood for petty traders and hawkers in the area.
Tifase Abiola, a caterer, who usually prepares snacks, told NAN that she was making more sales from the whistle business, as against her original catering business.
“I was initially selling snacks, but when I saw that some traders were making swift sales from hawking whistles, I decided to join them,” she said.
“I investigated where they sourced whistles wholesale and I swiftly joined them. I now hawk whistles in my neighbourhood.”
Also speaking, another trader, Deji Onigunye, said he hitherto sold sports items such as football, boots and jerseys, but the whistle demand attracted him to the business.
“Whistles are not items we sell every day, but in the last two weeks, the demand for the item around here has compelled me to invest in the business,” he said.
Another trader, Funke Oniroayo, a widow, who was known for selling brooms in the market, said she now made better sales in her new line of business.
“This whistle business has helped me to settle most of my debts and to also feed my fatherless children,” she said.
“Many people buy as many as three or four at once, and almost everyone that comes around is interested in buying them.”
She expressed delight that the business had increased her patronage and popularity at the market.
Muhammed Mutiu, a dealer in books, who suddenly switched to the whistle business, said he has been making brisk sales.
“Initially, I was selling books on wholesale, but when I discovered that a lot of hawkers in the market were going to Tom Jones market in Lagos Island to buy whistles, I decided to join them,” she said.
“I went to the market, bought in wholesale and to my surprise, it has been very rewarding as people from the Ikorodu hinterlands also now come to the market to buy in bulk.”
Source: The Cable