When did this problem start?
It started in April after the elections. We were not properly informed. It was not even made official. We were just hearing that they will demolish Alade Market, that is all.
What steps have you taken?
We have reached out to the government. There was a peaceful demonstration sometime back. We have written to state our side of the story too.
Any favourable response yet?
No, we have not heard from the government.
What exactly do you want?
We cannot be moved elsewhere. We have 1,000 occupants in Alade Market and here, it is just 280 shops. How will it be done? This place is not habitable at all. Look at the big canal, how can buying and selling be taking place in this type of environment. The mechanics that work around here once told us to come with a life jacket if at all we are moving here. We were told to pay N150,000 (shop owners), those who don’t have shops will pay N5 million.
They sent armed men to vandalise the market on Sunday. It happened in the night when occupants were not around. Thank God for police intervention, it would have been another story.
If they want us to modernize Alade Market, they should come up with a plan, a structure, they will meet with us and will give us time to transform the market.
We heard Alade Market traders have agreed to relocate. We were told there was a meeting and all traders except squatters agreed to move?
That is not true, that report is false. We cannot move into the canal. The Iyaloja General, Mrs. Shade Tinubu-Ojo said she will go and visit the place, she has not been there. She insisted we should not pay any amount of money. If they want to relocate us, they should relocate us to a conducive environment, we cannot move to the canal. How do they want buying and selling to take place over there.
The Iyaloja of Alade Market is not representing us, Elizabeth Adenuga only cares about the 33 shops she owns. She is after her own interest. 95 per cent of market traders are against her decision.