Some market women and men on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly protesting against an alleged plan by the state government to demolish the Ojodu Retail Market.
The aggrieved marketers, chanting solidarity songs, appealed to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and other lawmakers to intervene.
The protesters urged the House to use its influence to stop the planned demolition, as the consequence would devastate many families and homes.
Alhaja Fadeke Bello, the leader of the protesters, told newsmen that the marketers were surprised when some officials of the state government gave them only one day notice before demolition.
Bello, the Treasurer of the Market Men and Women, Ojodu Retail Market Branch, said: “We are here on behalf of the people of Ojodu Retail Market.
“We heard that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode ordered the demolition of parts of the market, which we did not agree to because the notice was short.
“They called us for an emergency meeting yesterday that they were coming today to demolish the market and we told them that we could not accept that because of the short notice.
“This was why we decided to come and inform the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly and our Iyaloja General, Alhaja Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
“We are going to her office to see her now. They told us they would only demolish part of the market, but we don’t know what they would do. They gave us a short notice.”
The leader said that the market, established 32 years ago by the Marketing Board, belongs to Ikeja Local Government.
According to Bello, the government officials told the marketers that there are issues with the owners of the land.
Bello, who commended Ambode for doing his best for the beautification of Ojodu Local Government, appealed to the government not to send them away from the market.
She said: “The Governor should not send us away from where we earn our daily bread. We depend on the market for survival. We don’t know their plans about the market, but we want them to help us.”
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker urged them to conduct themselves peacefully, assuring that the House would look into the matter.
Obasa said: “I urge you to try and be peaceful with the protests. We promise to get across to the executive on the matter and report to your leaders in due course.”
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