The popular Oyinlola market in FESTAK, Lagos state, was demolished on Saturday, traumatizing traders as the bandits were taken away with their goods during the training exercise.
Market participants said that the president of the Amuvo-Odofin district, Valentin Buraimo, ordered merchants to demolish the building without warning in a selfish and heartless manner.
Reporters from the Sahara concluded that security personnel who were present at the demolition of the house fired firearms to scare people, while thugs also took advantage of the opportunity to smuggle millions of goods from traumatized traders.
The demolition, according to traders, was unexpected, as there was no such notice.
However, local authorities said the demolition was due to structural defects in the buildings.
The store owner said the LGA’s claim was false and unfounded as the stores had a good reputation.
She said: “I was shocked when I heard about the demolition. I overheard them saying that they were demolished due to structural defects in the building; this was not the case. Who took the test to make sure the stores are in good condition or not? People didn’t know this would happen. Otherwise, we would have photographed their stores before they were demolished. How many years have these shops been in existence and there has never been a building collapse? “
He added that the government should be dragging traders along, given the peculiarity of the bad economy during this period.
Another victim, who rented out his store to an 11-year-old woman and mother who paid $ 40,000 a year, said the business had stopped and the children were left without proper care.
“This woman recently wanted to pay me the rent, but I asked her to wait again. Thank goodness I didn’t get any money from her. She lost consciousness during the demolition. Many other people make their living in this same market.
“Some traders have recently replenished their stocks of Christmas products. You know what this country is; they had to take out loans in order to store and sell; there is a school fee, even a rent, ”he complained.
It became known that during the demolition of the house, criminals came and took away people’s things.
Traders’ lawyer Ike Oniefulu said in an interview that he was disappointed with local authorities for demolishing shops without warning.
He said, “Nigeria has laws. There are laws, but the problem is that people follow them. The city and regional laws of Lagos State provide specific provisions for any demolition of both private and public property, but this is not enforced.
“It doesn’t matter what the reason for the market demolition is, not just the law; common sense dictates to warn people about moving their property, insert it so that people know that they are using the property at their own risk. This is how it should be done. They should have notified about it even seven days in advance, but this did not happen. “
Onyfulu also confirmed that there were police officers and Nigerian army soldiers with weapons at the scene, creating confusion that allowed the thugs to spend a field day in the people’s territory.
“The police and the military were there with their AK-47s and firing in the air, so people were more traumatized and confused. Some people left for the weekend; they weren’t there. Some of those who did not travel were in their homes. It was Saturday and those who were also in the shops surprised them that they could not put their goods aside.
“How do you account for the billion-naira property that was looted there when there were more than 5,000 store owners? This is happening at a time when people are still recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and the EndSARS protest. ”
Onyfulu said he wrote letters to State Governor Babajida Sanwo-Olu, chairman of the council and FESTAC residents’ association three weeks ago, but has still not received a response.
“How would a state governor give an order, as some have argued? Our letter has been delivered. I would like to believe that the governor is unaware of this madness. In Lagos state, if a landlord wants a tenant to leave, the law says that he must advise the tenant to resign, and if he refuses to leave, you must go to court to get an order, but this did not happen. in our case, ”he explained.