Anxiety, tears, as Lagos shuts Ladipo Market
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.”