No fewer than 235 shops and 125 container-makeshift stalls were brought down by the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Related Crimes at the weekend in Igbara market, Jakande, along Lekki-Epe Expressway.
This is coming less than a week after over 350 shops sited under high-tension electricity cable were demolished at Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun Modern Market, Isheri-Olofin in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
The dust of Tuesday’s demolition at Isheri-Olofin was yet to settle when the same combined team carried out its treat to demolish other of such structures across the state by heading for Lekki area of the state, precisely the Igbara Market with bulldozers.
Babaoloja of the market, Alhaji Salau Lukman, disclosed that Igbara Market started in 1990 following the demolition of Maroko. According to him, it was built by the Baale of Igbara.
“With reference to the demolition, I would say it is a good step in the right direction because prior notice had been given by the state and as a matter of importance, it is to protect our lives,” he said, while appealing to the government to help the affected by establishing affordable and low-cost shops where they could continue to ply their trade.
One of the affected traders, an herb seller, Mrs. Azeez, lamented that she had lost over a million naira to the demolition. “If not for this market, I wouldn’t have gotten any means of livelihood to feed and pay my children’s school fees.
“But now that Ambode has taken away my only means of livelihood, where would I start from, especially now that KAI people are arresting street traders? It is unfair for the government to put us in this misery, considering the state of Nigeria’s economy,” the widow lamented.
Chairman of the Spare Parts Traders Association at the market Mr. Ugo Onuha, said they had been operating in the market for more than 20 years. “The market was constructed by Igbara communities comprising three families: Lawal, Balogun and Badanu family.
According to Superintendent Olayinka Egbeyemi, who led the task force to the market, the shop owners were given due seven days notice before the market was brought down.
He urged market leaders in all the 57 local councils of the state to support government by educating traders on the imminent danger by trading under a high-tension cable.