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Traders count losses, protest against demolition fruit market in Lagos

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Hundreds of traders yesterday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly in protest against the demolition of the Ikosi/Isheri fruit market by agents of the state government.

They, however, lamented colossal loss of their goods worth millions of naira during the sudden invasion.

The protesters carried placards with inscription such as: “Our market is not to be sold in any form; we will explore all legal option to stop the satanic demolition of our market;

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‘Our market is our DNA, is not for sale’, ‘Our market is our lifeline; we will protect it with our lives’, Ketu/Ikosi market belongs to Yorubas, Hausas, and Igbos. It must not be sold”.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Mrs. Adebukola Adejuwonbi claimed the market was destroyed without prior notice to traders. She accused the chairman of Ikosi/Isheri local government, as the brain behind the destruction of the market.

She said: “We came from the Ikosi/Isheri fruit market. I am one of the sellers in the market. On Friday morning, we only saw caterpillars breaking down our market without any notice.

“We were told they have sold the market to a contractor to build an estate. We can’t challenge them as they were shooting sporadically.

“And since we don’t have any weapon, we had to run for our dear lives. That is why we have decided to come here to plead with Lagos Assembly and the Governor to come to our aid and deliver us from this problem” Adejuwonbi said.

Another trader, Yemisi Balogun urged the government to come to their aid by helping them get their market back. She noted that they solely depended on the proceeds from their trades to take care of their families.

“It is from the market we get money to send our children to school. By doing this to us, we are going to suffer. That is why we are here to plead to intervene on this issue.

“Demolition of the market is not what we need now. What we need now are good roads and free education”

Balogun stated that the traders had been paying their taxes regularly.

While responding to the demands of the traders, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa who was represented by the member representing Shomolu Constituency 1, Hon. Olowo Rotimi hinted that the Chairman of the Local Government had been cautioned.

He added that moving Lagos forward should be done wisely without causing pains on the people.

“My colleague and I have called on the Local government chairman to stop his action for now and I know that Mr. Speaker and other colleagues would be interested in this case and they will call the chairman.

“We have told Mr. Fatai Oyesanya to stop forthwith and I am sure we are going to resolve it. I believe you will get justice.”

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