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Bunker, arms discovered under shops at demolished Oshodi market


The demolished market... PHOTOS: FEMI ADEBESIN -KUTI

The demolished market… PHOTOS: FEMI ADEBESIN -KUTI

Following the hue and cry over demolition of the popular Owonifari Electronic Market loop at Oshodi, the Lagos State government has said that the market had to go following its security threats to residents of the state.

State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, at an inter ministerial chat with reporters on Thursday, said that the demolition exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday actually confirmed some of their fears, “as we discovered concrete bunker and arms underneath the shops.”

The government said though the matter of relocation had been on for about 10 years, recent intelligence report and criminal activities around Oshodi during the festive season, informed the drastic action of the state government.

The government said plans were already in top gear to begin the construction of a world-class bus terminus in the loop.

It would be recalled that bulldozers swung into action late Tuesday night, destroying over 1000 shops in the Owonifari loop following a quit notice served to the occupants on December 21, 2015.

Contrary to the claims that the 16-day notice order was too short, Ayorinde said that the issue dated back to 10 years, with back and forth negotiations held with leadership of the market on relocation to a larger Isopakodowo market about 200 metres from the demolished site.

He stressed that the move was in the best interest of everyone, adding that the state government could not have been more magnanimous with the conditions of the new market and the rate at which the new shops were rented out.

Ayorinde, however, said while markets would always be in Oshodi, some illegal structures already marked by the state government would have to be demolished to make way for traffic free-flow and crime-free Oshodi axis.

He said: “Government, I should say, will not be blackmailed because we had done everything humanly possible and you know that the hallmark of this government has been compassion. It is a compassionate government.

“The intention was not to destroy the market or destroy properties or to make life inconvenient for them. We believe very strongly that Isopakodowo market is quite ideal; its a lot bigger store-per-store than where they had been removed now and the aim of government, as we stated earlier, is to ensure that that area of the market conforms with the type of image that we want Lagos to be, which is to return sanity to the place, to beautify the market, to construct a world class bus terminus around that place and to ensure that people who use that place on a daily basis – the commuters, traders, everybody enjoy what it means to go to a market in a mega city.

“We also believe that the exercise will largely reduce the gridlock that is associated with that area and then the criminalities that were rampant in that Oshodi. What we have done is in the interest of the generality of Lagosians,” Ayorinde said.

The commissioner said that the government had already commenced the fencing-off of the set-back on Agege Motor Road that stretches from Ilupeju end of Oshodi all the way to the PWD/Ikeja GRA end of the area.

Ayorinde said the ongoing fencing-off and beautification of the road set-back from Ilupeju bypass to PWD/Ikeja GRA would constitute the first phase of the transformation of the Oshodi area.

The second phase, he added, would begin from PWD/Ikeja GRA and stretch all the way to Agege/Pen cinema axis.

Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said contrary to claims in some quarters, none of the occupants’ properties was destroyed in the demolition exercise.

“On Tuesday night, we found that all the occupants have complied and moved to the new market. The only one that remained actually called us to say that he was in the East burying his late mother. For that one, we had to evacuate his properties and they are safe with us. So, nothing was destroyed in the exercise.”

Adejare added that the governor had been so magnanimous to have allowed the shop owners acquire new shops in Isopakodowo market at N5,000 in a place like Oshodi.

“There is nowhere in Lagos where you will be paying N5, 000 per shop not to talk of the central Oshodi, but the governor agreed with them and we said we were ready to concede after which we now formally served them with a quit notice through the office of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development,” he said.

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  • Uchenna Ugokwe

    I don’t believe the arms aspect

    • ewucanbeer

      I actually believe the arms are there! Only a stupid Igbo man will conduct business outside Igbo land without an ak47 at arms reach. There has been fewer murders of Igbos since we learnt that it is better to die fighting than to be massacred like 1966. Never again! I’m in the market for a .50 cal and a B.A.R

  • BankyMons

    So quit notice was served on December 21 and on January 5 the market was demolished by the authorities? I hope these shop owners sue the state government and make her pay for every kobo that was lost! Nigerians are the most wicked people on earth! Why is this shameless i-iot of a commissioner lying to cover up their act of wickedness? There no arms there and if they were by any chance, it is the security apparatus that should carry the blame and not poor innocent Nigerians! What a country!!!!!!!

    • Centro Baba Oresanya

      Don’t mind those evil people sets of APCBastard, My GOD will punish them and their government end and they will never come back to power,its a very Bad act. And even if their is any arms there must Demolition be the solution?. Don’t we have. Police to do their Job. .

      • BankyMons


    • ewucanbeer

      I actually believe the arms are there! Only a stupid Igbo man will conduct business outside Igbo land without an ak47 at arms reach. There has been fewer murders of Igbos since we learnt that it is better to die fighting than to be massacred like 1966. Never again! I’m in the market for a .50 cal and a B.A.R.

    • Koola Adekola

      You reasoning with your foot

      • BankyMons

        If you cannot contribute a cogent argument here, then quit commenting on my thread okay? Try it again and see.

        • Koola Adekola

          I repeat reason with your cerebrum and not your foot because you reasoning very shallow

  • Toms Ugwu

    I think the demolition of the Oshodi shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone after all, swamps abounds in Lagos to be developed. If there’s non left, ogun state still have some to be developed. Monkey de work and baboons de chop. Why is anyone annoyed with the word ZOO? .

  • moe

    A single AK47 constitute arms.. lol

  • samson teneri

    Arms or not, bunkers or not, you all talk as if the market is 100% igbo, what about the yoruba people there? i know a few ebira people there as well, and truth be told, they all saw the bulldozer when it arrived around 4pm and they knew it was time, so all these cries are foul cries. the Government wants it land back and there nothing anyone could have done about it.

  • Dede Kabi

    Nigerian newspapers are all liers working for the APC. Demolition of this market occupied by mostly Biafran Igbos is just part of what the Oba of Yoruba said that will happen if Igbos didn’t vote for APC, and the fearless Igbos didn’t vote for him. One Nigeria indeed!

  • Dede Kabi

    The APC government is looking for a reason to defend his wicked and deliberate act against Biafrans