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Tears as Ladipo traders fault midnight demolition

Traders in last minute rush to pick their wares after the demolition by unknown persons... yesterday.

Traders in last minute rush to pick their wares after the demolition by unknown persons… yesterday.

Year 2016 seems not to be good for traders in Lagos State. While many market men and women are grappling with the dire times precipitated by the scarcity of dollars, fear of the state’s demolition squad battle-ready with their efficient bulldozers have caused many sleepless nights since the turn of the year.

It began with the leveling at Oshodi Market, then the taskforce team moved to Daleko Market in Mushin and razed it down. Nearly 24 hours after government announced its intention to relocate the troubled Mile 12 Market, the taskforce visited Ladipo auto spare-parts market yesterday at Toyota Bus-Stop on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and demolished a section of the multi-billion naira market.

This latest act didn’t come to many by a surprise, as the market had been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent weeks. However, the supremacy battle between Owoyemi family and Odo-Aladura community over a portion of land had led to severe skirmishes that had claimed lives and closure of the market several times.

Speaking with The Guardian, Vice President of the market, Mr. Jude Chika Nwankwo, criticised the state government for demolishing over 300 shops without prior notice to the shop owners and market leaders. “It is so sad that an elected government can do this to its people. We were not given any notice to leave before today, we only came this morning to see ruins of our shops.

“Why should the government come like a thief in the night to do this. Our security man called me around 2:00 am and informed me of the presence of some government officials and policemen who came with caterpillars. I immediately put a call through to the Commissioner of Police at 2:15am to inform him of the situation. All he said was that there was no problem; that his men would be there to stop any illegal demolition.

“We are all family men now left with nothing to do, government has closed our source of livelihood; we are now helpless. Many of the items in the shop had been looted except for some heavy spare parts difficult to carry. Personally, I don’t know where to go from here. I have incurred huge debt with the last consignment I got due to the dollar issue and now this,” he lamented.

However, another trader said unidentified persons suspected to be thugs carried out the demolition. According to him, the thugs who attempted to demolish it recently before traders prevented them had to come around 3:00 a.m. to demolish the market and hurriedly left before the traders arrived in the morning.

“There had been crises for some weeks after the same thugs invaded the market and attempted to demolish it but the traders mobilised themselves and chased the thugs away. That invasion resulted in serious fracas between the traders and thugs during which many traders sustained injuries. One of the traders, Anene Utasi, was attacked. He was rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he eventually died.”

An angry trader, who was picking debris of his goods yesterday lamented failure of the government to issue any notice. “I kept N830,000 here yesterday but cannot find a penny. Everything has been looted. I had goods worth N16.8 million buried under the rubble, should I carry all the goods on my head to my house? Do they want to turn us into armed robbers?” he asked.

There were skeletal activities at other section of the market not touched yesterday as traders shut down in solidarity with those who lost their wares to the demolition. There was also a heavy presence of policemen stationed at the market to forestall any violence.



18 Comments
  • Darlington

    This is why every reasonable and visionary Igbo person should support Biafra. There is a grand conspiracy to decimate economic interests of Igbos in Lagos for supporting the PDP led by GEJ. Biafra is the answer. Igbos should think Eastern region. This is just the beginning.

    • Abiodun

      I sympathize with the traders of latipo market for there lost, the government really did something bad to demolished shops without notice. But don’t listening to this man saying that biafra is the answer, if this man remember how many life and property that was lost during biafra war he will not think or bring make the memory. This is our country let unite we are one Nigeria ! Say no to biafra….

      • Lemmuel Odjay

        Don’t blame them. It’s the nightmare that stalks those who have chosen to take on the toga of victimhood. In a society comprising of dozens of groups who suffer from marginalisation, the Igbos are only voicing their collective opinion. If Nigeria is unable, by default, to bring all Nigerians round a conference table to listen to the voices of its individual groups, then the clamour to secede would go on. People would find an excuse for wanting to leave the union. It is true that crisis is what keeps Nigeria going and one day very soon, the world would itself wish that the country breaks apart because we have chosen to be scared of confronting one another with the truth that could set us free and enable us to cohabit in peace and unity…

    • martin oyeamuma

      Biafra is not the solution, Wisdom is profitable to direct, igbos are mostly Christians, Igbos at this moment need a prophet to head Ohaneze, That prophet should be able to ask GOD which direction should the igbos take, is definitely not biafra. I have asked GOD told me that Nigeria as a country can’t survive without the igbo nation. I then ask you if people can’t survive without you what are you suppose to do? I will answer it you should allow wisdom dictate your charisma and not money.
      Every igbo man came to Lagos because it was once the capital of Nigeria now is no more so what are they still doing there, the say is now the commercial nerve centre hahahahaaaa i love Lagos for their smartness in packaging so what is onisha? Ndi Igbo shine your eyes and think. Is either you’re in Abuja the capital doing business or you should move to ABA or Onitsha if the need your goods the will surely come down there to buy it.

  • #BringBackOurGirls

    “Speaking with The Guardian, Vice President of the market, Mr. Jude Chika Nwankwo, criticised the state government for demolishing over 300 shops without prior notice to the shop owners and market leaders. “It is so sad that an elected government can do this to its people. We were not given any notice to leave before today, we only came this morning to see ruins of our shops.

    “Why should the government come like a thief in the night to do this. Our security man called me around 2:00 am and informed me of the presence of some government officials and policemen who came with caterpillars. I immediately put a call through to the Commissioner of Police at 2:15am to inform him of the situation. All he said was that there was no problem; that his men would be there to stop any illegal demolition.

    However, another trader said unidentified persons suspected to be thugs carried out the demolition. According to him, the thugs who attempted to demolish it recently before traders prevented them had to come around 3:00 a.m. to demolish the market and hurriedly left before the traders arrived in the morning.”

    The two statements are not the same, and those attaching Biafra thing to this needs deliverance.

  • METCHE

    Last year it was Oshodi market and now Ladipo market without any notification? Ambode there is God ooo. We know ur plan but it will not work.

  • emmanuel kalu

    if the government didn’t provide warning, this is really bad. you are now forces 100’s of men without something to do into a life that might involve crime. Nigeria government needs to think of it action before it starts the implementation.

  • amador kester

    A destructive hypomania takes over lagos govt. The syndrome presents and precipitates without warning to anyone. People are appealing for reason and consideration by the authorities.But i dont know if psychiatrists alone can sort out this problem and this is not meant to insult anyone. It is happening real!

  • Deovolente

    Lagos State Government appears to have declared economic war on its people. Wickedness of man is boundless.

  • This is pure ethnic war. It is terrible.

  • Mazi JO

    The Nigerian Police has its work cut out in this one. The State Government should be queried for who authorized the clandestine dawn demolition. When life and property are lost in an illegal act as this, we are constructing a highway to anarchy. No Government has the right to trample people’s liberties in any way ’eminent domain’ or not. The state government should get ready with its bulging pocket books. Peoples’ lifelines are at stake here. A sinister political dimension is rearing its ugly head in our system.

  • Innocent Ekulide

    There are two things to be done.First the affected Traders with this pictures should drag Lagos state Govt and their agents to Federal High Court for reckless destruction of their properties.Two ,they should relocate these markets to Eastern States or at least Asaba in Delta state.Some of these markets were based mainly at Onitsha before they all moved to Lagos.We must begin to move out these markets from Lagos based on the ongoing hostilities.
    Lagos state Governor said Ndigbo did not vote for him hence the ongoing aggression and our people must reciprocate this by organizing themselves and move the Market to Ogun State or back home.Lagos state will be the greatest looser through IGR that has gone down.

    • oloriakojo

      My broda, while i can relate to your pains which are clearly expressed through your writings, the question is if the market positioning had attracted greater patronage in the east or Onitsha area as you infered, it would not have been in lagos anyways or in the first place……So let us not forget the point that lagos created good proximity to end buyers, which in turn created prosperity for the hard working ibo traders……and so they have a benefit from being physically located in lagos. While the action of the lagos state govt may not be politically correct…..the traders should explore reasonably options within the law of the land to pursue their interests.

      • AriseNigeria

        Patronage and total lost of property is which better? The fact is that, as we increase in wealth and prestige, our enemies are not happy. Hostility against Igbos and there interest is unstoppable. But lawsuits against the government and their agents may deter further unlawful action against these victims, until they find their ways back to East. If the stores were owned by Yorubas or Hausas, you will not see this kind of wickedness. Yorubas are naturally wicked people. Its written all over their faces.

        • Comfortkay

          AriseNigeria think twice before you talk . Yoruba people are very kind and accomodative. The government gave a reason of making LAGOS more attrative as a Mega City in couple of years and we should find a dialog and talk with the government to know which areas needs to go in future

  • Bede Nwoji

    Ndigbo, ihe o ga eme unu ugbo ole tutu unu eme ihe kwesiri ka unu mee? Obu na ala adighi n’Onisha na Aba, ebe apuru iru ulo mgbere ahia? Akpata atufuo adighi eji ya aba ogaranya!

  • AriseNigeria

    Yorubas are naturally wicked and evil people. I can guarantee that it to anybody that these wicked souls were laughing and rejoicing as they watch these poor traders loose everything. But as the people of Israel, God can only prosper his people and nothing that the enemies does will stop the Hebrew Children from growing stronger and stronger, because Jehovah is alive and his ears are not closed to hear his people and neither is he blind to see the wickedness in the land against his chosen and anointed ones.

    • nuelsymbol

      Why did you opt to stay in wicked place in the first place .? How many Yoruba is beating their chests in any Market in Igbo land .If I were an Igbo man ,I will pursue my case in a court of Law for compensation.

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