Monday August 29th 2022 will remain a day Nigerian traders mainly of the South Eastern stock, trading at the Auto Spare parts market called Gbara/Jakande would not forget in a hurry.
The President of the market association Ichie Lazarus Oguwa told Lekki Times correspondent who visited the market that they have never seen such wickedness since they turned that portion of Gbara community from Slum to a thriving auto spare parts market.
He explained that On Friday August 26th, 2022, some men came to him and his market executives to inform them that they should find alternative trading place as that portion of the market will be demolished in 5 days.
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Oguwa noted that before the market leaders could find out the source of the notice, bulldozers were rolled in on the midnight of Sunday August 28th, 2022 without giving them anytime to pack or even seek for alternative locations.
According to him, “Well and neatly built up shops numbering over 300 were knocked down with goods worth more than 950 million Naira.
“Auto spares such as Tires, batteries, spark plugs, lubrication oils, grease and many more servicing and auto body parts were destroyed. The leaders and shop owners had no choice than to salvage what were left of their goods.”
However, weeks after the destruction, Logos State Government and Community leaders have remained silent over what the traders described as “blatant display of wickedness.”
Pieces of information gathered indicated that the Bale and Chiefs of the community who have been collecting market levies and even shop rents in some instances unreachable during and after the demolition.
The Bale was reported to have travelled and cannot be reached while Eti Osa Local Government Administration seems helpless in the situation.
The market association president said market leaders are wondering why the Bale, his Chiefs and other indigenous landlords who built up the shops are not saying anything and offering the traders any respite.
Further enquiry revealed that a well connected property developer (name withheld) may have negotiated and allegedly compromised the Bales and Chiefs of the community, resulting in the kind of attitude they have exhibited.
Meanwhile, in a related development, residents of Oluwa community in Ibeju-Lekki have protested the marking of their houses by Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the demolition of their houses by Lagos State Environmental Task Force and Special Offences unit (Task Force).
The residents who claimed to have court judgment over the 358 hectares of land, said they were in shock when some policemen and Task Force officers, including street urchins, stormed the scene with four excavators to destroy over 50 uncompleted buildings in the community.
The placard-carrying protesters, who took the street on Monday, urged concerned citizens of the state to intervene in the matter, noting that life has become unbearable for them after the demolition.