April 21, 2017
Hundreds of traders and shop owners at the Popular Ojodu Berger Market, Ojodu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Lagos state are counting their losses, following the demolition of the facility by suspected agents of the state government.
When Vanguard visited the site of the demolition yesterday, the traders were seen salvaging their wares from the shops.
Vanguard gathered that the market was demolished on Wednesday in compliance with Lagos High Court judgment in a suit number: ID/10900/2000.
There were however, different accounts of the reasons for the demolition. While some accused an unnamed former governor of being responsible for the demolition, others claimed the land had been under global acquisition for years.
Military personnel attached to Operation MESA, OP MESA, were seen at strategic areas to ensure peace was maintained.
The military men were however hostile as they detained anyone found recording their activities at the scene.
According to sources, the law enforcement personnel stormed the market at about 10 am on the fateful day and ordered the traders to vacate the market.
Narrating how the activity was carried out, the Chief Security Officer of the market, who spoke under anonymity, said; “I remember that when they arrived, they immediately shut the pedestrian gate and displaced my colleagues at the main entrance. Few minutes after, they ordered the traders to leave immediately.
“Some of the traders could not even remove their wares because we had not received prior notice on the issue.”
A trader, Adebimpe Adebiyi, said: “It is pathetic that despite paying monthly rent, our stalls were demolished in this manner. I know that those collecting the rent were aware that there was a pending court case but they didn’t alert us. Infact, some of the traders just paid three months rents advance.”