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Anxiety, tears, as Lagos shuts Ladipo Market


Auto spare parts traders in shock as the market was shut yesterday         PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

Auto spare parts traders in shock as the market was shut yesterday PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

IT was frustration, anger and tears at the Ladipo Spare Parts Market yesterday as traders scampered to salvage the little wares they could find following the demolition of some of their shops and the eventual shutting of the market by “officials of Mushin local council. The officials claimed that the exercise was to make way for “redevelopment.”

When The Guardian visited the market, the entrance gate was sealed and the roof of the shops demolished, with a banner from the council, which was strapped to the gate, informing the traders that a developer would rebuild the section into an ultra-modern market.

Traders said yesterday morning that they met “hoodlums” vandalising the market with bulldozers escorted by policemen and SARS operatives. Others, who were visibly devastated, shed tears uncontrollably, saying that there was no prior notice from the authorities to vacate their shops for a redevelopment.

Grieving over their loss, they cursed that this was not what they bargained for while casting their votes earlier in the year. Some said they have just paid their rents, the most recent being two days ago.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the market, Kanayo Okonkwo, said there was no notice to prepare the traders beforehand, adding, “as it stands, we are in raining season. If it rains, it will spoil all our goods. That would take us back to square one.

“They didn’t tell us anything. I don’t know where they want us to go. We don’t have other shops. Assuming they gave us some kind of notice, we would know what to do, we came today to sell but found the a lock on the gate.” He added: “We want to know why they vandalised a section of the market.

If they have any issue within themselves, let them sort it out. We came here to look for daily bread, not to disturb anybody. If they really planned to develop the market, they should have at least informed us. “The governor of Lagos State should come to our aid. If they want us to leave, we will do that. But they should do what is right.”

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  • enyibinakata

    Nothing new. Igbos being robbed and maltreated by the evil people of Nigeria. O Lord, how long until you restore Biafra, how long ? :'(

    • Ekpen Alile

      Restore BIAFRA in the jungle of Cameroon not in my Fatherland.
      We must all learn to live together guys, the time call for world peace and prosperity for all. These two tribes in NIGERIA are full of hate for all and this must stop.

      • Utari Nmuo


        • Ekpen Alile

          Why do you IGBOS Call every body ANIMAL? Well, Chief Obafemi Awolowo may have been correct when he use that phrase to describe you during the civil war. I am beginning to understand him now.

      • Utari Nmuo

        shameless fool with no dignity! where is your fatherland ? this fake country called Nigeria must collapse! must disintegrate ! let all man stay with his or her own tribe .

        • Ekpen Alile

          Nigeria is not your home. Hence to you, it must be destroyed. You are so wrong. Look at the just concluded election and the praises NIGERIA is getting from all over the world. Evil tribes shall disintegrate and your ambition if you do not leave this land must collapse.

          • Utari Nmuo

            You are the one from evil ogboni,echankar coward tribe, foolish and over fermented ofemmanu bigoted coward ! we don’t want to live in the same country with you !! FOOLISH ANIMAL with no dignity!!! Why do you want to live in the same country with people that hate you!!! where is your pride ! where is your dignity!! Death to you, your household and death to your evil ogboni treacherous tribe !!!

          • Ekpen Alile

            I guess you answered your own question.
            So, when are you leaving?

          • Utari Nmuo

            Ask your leprosy infected father

  • emmanco

    This is getting ridiculous and blatant on the part of Lagos state govt. the I Bo ethnic group have suffered enough in this country and yet they have persevered. It is obvious that this present Ambode administration is out to marginalized and humiliate the efforts of the Igbos in Lagos. However, it is equally obvious that they are not aware how resilient the Igbos can be. It is an understatement to say that the Igbos contribute to socioeconomic welfare of the state and will continue to engrave their presence into the fabrics of the sociocultural of Lagos. there are numerous inter tribal marriages and children born to parents of Igbo-Yoruba Union. Very soon Oluwafemi Kalu would become the Governor of the state and nothing anybody can do about that. Sooner we start embracing this one Nigeria devoid of ethnic and religious divide the better we can move our state and country forward. It is only by biological accident that we are all Nigerians and we must learn to tolerate each other. Where one tribe is stronger the other is weaker and together we can be stronger. It is obvious that Yorubas cannot thrive in motor spare parts business’s hence the Igbo traders will fill the void. We have fought the war and realized that war is not the solution, now we must try constructive dialogue and learn to live symbiotically for a better Nigeria for our children now and yet unborn. One Nigeria I still stand.

    • Layi Niyi

      Emmanco the boy, It cannot take Lagos government 6 months to invite and create an enable environment for Japanese original motor part seller to come to Lagos Trade zone to start selling all the motor spare parts. Yoruba just dey pity you so that you will not turn to armed robbery.

      • Anne

        If Lagos govt plans to bring Japanese to partake in motor spare parts business as you opine, why forcefully close existing businesses first? Does it make any sense other than political vendetta? Very dangerous development.

      • Ekpen Alile

        Lagos do not belong to the YORUBA. If the EDO PEOPLE allow you to reside in lagos without hindrance you are criminally discriminating against any one who choose to come to lagos. The evil you both are perpetrating in our land is catching up with you all gradually and except all of you change your behavior you will one day set arms against each other.
        The IGBOS have no reason to destroy the environment in Mushin as they have done to LADIPO. But that should not be an excuse to treat them like ANIMALS and total disrespect. You both be warned.

        • Layi Niyi

          The problem I have with you is your lack of education, you forget what your teacher thought you so soon in social studies if at all you attended any school, Binis are children of Oduduwa. Call Ifeanyi Uba to re open it for you.

          • Ekpen Alile

            With all due respect, a son of the OBA of Benin who was the heir apparent but was sick was sent to live with OBA Oranmiyan. Possibly for treatment because he did not speak. But during a game of chestnut, he miraculously started talking. His name was OBA EWEKA THE FIRST. The Yoruba already hatched a plan to send ODUDUWA to Benin if the royal prince never recovered. But he did recover and went home to rule his KINGDOM.
            The Benins have a common love for the Yoruba people for their knowledge of medicine which they brought with them from DAHOMEY. But after the conquer of Dahomey by the EDO WARRIORS who camped in EKO re: present day palace of the ONIKAN (OSHODIN) AND BROUGHT WITH THEM THE severed head of the king there to the OBA of BENIN, WE RULED THE ENTIRE REGION.
            Ifeanyi Uba migrated for the Cameroon, or Gambia or Zambia. He can never be an authority of my heritage and history.
            If the king has mandated the EDO language be spoken by all defeated kingdoms, we would not have been having this conversation. Thank You.

  • curtis uwuigbe

    Politics should be put aside for us to forge ahead. We should forgive and embrace each other. It is not true the Yoruba cannot live normal lives without the Ibo spare parts business. It is also not true the Ibos cannot survive without the Yoruba. Everyone can survive on their own, even if more difficult. I have observed that the former Western Region is more accommodating to the point of allowing non-indigenes to hold political positions. This the former Northern and Eastern Regions should learn from as they are also advocating for oneness and understanding for each other.

    • Frank Probity

      And if i may ask, what do you mean by the former Western Region being more accommodating to the point of allowing (non-indigene) to hold political positions?? That word non-indigenes, are we not 1 Nigeria?? If yes, why would a sane person call a fellow brother or sister a non-indigene in the same you claimed to be one?? This is the real problem we are having and if only the true Biafrans would support what we are doing to actualize the United States of Biafra, we would have peace of mind and be free from marginalization, deprivation, humiliation and intimidation.

      • Ekpen Alile

        you are correct.

  • Deme N

    This story needs the other side – the council’s explanation.

  • Olu

    Some Nigerians are just plain dishonest and really don’t wish nigeria well. To make a publishable contribution to national issues that will make the country better for generation unborn it’s better to visit Ladipo market and make an objective assessment of the environment then decide if any responsible government ought to sit ideal and watch the deplorable condition of that market.

    Yes the largest ethnic group of traders are Igbo but the multiplier effect spreads to other groups including revenue for the local government this much I know because I buys parts there regularly. When I engaged a guy collecting levy from me while exiting with my purchase about the deplorable condition of the market and what they do with the levy his reply in the typical African mentality was your brother is the governor he should come and clean it up to which I said if I am parting with my money to fashola or any local government official I typically will ask the same question and by the way you are more of my brother than politicians, the young man just did not comprehend.

    The government is a mere reflection of the larger society is what I made out of my encounter. If the traders at Ladipo just refuse to take responsibility for their environment and are unable to learn from the faith of oshodi, tejuosho and oyingbo markets then it’s hard for any one wishing to see a better Nigeria to feel sorry for them. Basically, somebody has to clean up the mess. I am sure the government not unlike oshodi, e.t.c can careless about tribe.

    Wherever you find yourself do your part to make nigeria a better place and if you refuse then reserve some of the blame for your self. This is a basic fact of life.

    • Ekpen Alile

      I think I agree with you about the sanitation and deplorable condition of the market place.
      But don’t you think the people should have been given some kind of notice?

    • Kola

      you did not say anything about not putting them in the no b4 the demolition