The partial demolition of a section of the popular spare parts market in Ladipo,Mushin, Lagos, by the authorities of Mushin Local Government on Tuesday, June 30,2015,has left the affected traders counting losses at the moment as most of their goods were destroyed by the heavy down pour which occurred in the area after the demolition.
Some of the victims who spoke to encomium.ng also alleged looting of their cash and valuables by some members of the combined demolition Task Force who stormed the market around 4.30 am that fateful day without any prior notice.
Speaking on behalf of the traders on Friday, July 3,2015 when we visited the place,the chairman of the spare parts sellers in the area, Mr. Kingsley Ike Ogunor expressed disappointment in the Executive Secretary of the council, Hon Babajide Bello for the approached used in addressing the painful situation.
He described the activities of the Task Force as inhuman and embarrassing. He therefore called on the state government to come to their aid on the matter which has already created fear of uncertainty in the minds of all the occupants of the place.
“My reaction to what happened on Tuesday, June 30,2015 is that what the Executive Secretary of Mushin Local Government did was very bad. It was targeted at humiliating us. It’s not only embarrassing but inhuman. It’s a gross violation of outright.
“As our landlord, if he wants us to move out, it should be a day affair. He is supposed to call us for a meeting where we will reach an agreement that will favour both parties.
“Now, see the damage his action has caused. Some of our goods worth over 200 m naira have been destroyed. The items we deal in here are many and very expensive. With the heavy down pour of Wednesday and Thursday July 1 and 2,2015,most of them have been destroyed. Even, we’re still counting our losses.
“The team that vandalized our property in the name of the illegal demolition comprises the Mobile Police, OP MESA and others, fully armed. Even there’re touts among them.”It’s unfair, illegal, inhuman and barbaric.
“Now, we have been given just only one month to pack out of this place How will it be possible within that short period?
“We’re appealing to our amiable governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to wade in. My people are law abiding and we all want peace”
Meanwhile, the council’s Executive Secretary has denied demolishing the place. He claimed the Local Government only wants to redevelop the market to reflect what’s contained in the megacity agenda of the state.
“We’re not pursuing the traders out of the market. The Local Government only decided to redevelop the place, which has become an eyesore due to the unwholesome activities of some of the traders and the degradation of the surrounding which didn’t fit into the mega city plan of the state.”
Defending the step further, Hon Bello assured the traders that the current owners of stalls would be given priority as long as they can provide valid ownership documents once the reconstruction is completed.