Traders at the Idera Market in the Obadore area of the Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area, have called on the state government to intervene in what they described as an illegal demolition of the market.
The traders lamented that all efforts to get the attention of the government on the matter had not yielded tangible results as they had always met with administrative bottlenecks.
Reports say over 63 newly constructed shops, which the traders paid for, were demolished in the market on Sunday, November 22, 2012, while no prior notice was said to have been given to them.
It was further gathered that before the demolition, no fewer than 35 traders had obtained forms for the purchase or rentage of the shops from the LCDA, while some of them had already moved in with their goods. However, in the night of the fateful day, about 80 new and existing shops were said to have been demolished in the market, with traders losing goods worth millions of naira.
One of the affected traders, Tola Okuwobi, told newsmen that she paid for the shop with her retirement benefits, adding that her business had been paralysed since then.
She said, “I retired from a commercial bank as a manager. I had paid N1.1m for the purchase of the shop. We did not get it illegally. The LCDA gave us duly signed allocation papers. I had spent more money on its electrical installations. The demolition was sad and shocking. It was carried out at night. I urge the state government to investigate this matter. We have written several letters to the office of the governor, but there has been no tangible response. I plead with the governor to provide an alternative for us or ensure the return of our hard-earned money.”
Another affected trader, Folasade Bashorun, urged the government to reconstruct the shops or compensate the traders.
“I was formerly working as a nurse, but I decided to set up my own business because the doctor advised me that I was having a high blood pressure due to my hectic schedules. I had paid N1.8m to purchase the place. Suddenly, the structures were pulled down. I urge the state government to attend to this market and compensate all the affected parties,” she said.
At the site of the demolished shops, it was observed that nothing had been put on the site yet. A few traders could be seen going about their business in makeshift shops. The Igando-Ikotun LCDA Chairman, Chief Morenike Adesina-Williams, said the government was working on the matter.
According to her: “The governor has already directed the Commissioner for Local Government, Ademorin Kuye, to intervene, and the House of Assembly members too are working on the matter. Some time ago, we also held a meeting with the market leaders on the matter. What really caused the demolition was that the contractor handling the construction did not get all the necessary papers. But we are appealing to our people to be patient. We are working on it, and we hope for the best.”
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