Video: Widows, traders appeal to Gov Sanwo-Olu over ‘illegal’ demolition of Lagos market

Widows and traders of Oluwagbebe market, Marina, Lagos State, have appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene in what they termed ‘illegal’ demolition and attempt by some persons to take possession of the market. 

In the early hours of Sunday, 26 December, 2021, a group of persons were said to have invaded the market and demolished some stores in an attempt to allegedly take possession of the market. 

The demolition thereby led to series of protests from the traders, who are appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other concerned Nigerians to intervene. 

Some of the inscriptions on the placards displayed by the aggrieved traders read: “Dapo Ali-Balogun, leave our market alone. Stop intimidating us,” “We are widows,” “Obey court order,” and “stop sending thugs to destroy and steal our property” among others. 

Mr Abass Akeem, Secretary of the Oluwagbebe market, explained that the people who invaded the market on December 26 “are trying to acquire this market. We reported to the Local Government chairman and he said he was not aware of the act.”

He pleaded that “this is where we make our daily bread. Do they want us to start stealing to feed our respective families? We are pleading with Governor Sanwo-Olu to please come to our aid. We are paying our dues in this market.” 

One of the traders said that “my husband died last year, and I’m the only one taking care of our four kids, pay house rent, schools fees and all that. Where do they want me to start from after demolishing the market that serve as my only source of livelihood?” 

Another trader, Ibrahim Kehinde, mentioned one Mutiu Molake and Jamiu Ekemode as one of the leaders of the suspected thugs who attacked the market. 

He alleged that “their plan is to take possession of this market from us and sell it back to us at an exorbitant price. That’s why we are calling on our government and other concerned agencies to intervene.” 

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