By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—As part of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures across the state, operatives of the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences Unit, weekend, demolished over 360 illegal structures built on the Right of Way, RoW, of high tension cables at Igbara Market, Jakande, along Lekki-Epe Expressroad.
It will be recalled that, last Tuesday, the task force demolished over 350 illegal structures built on the RoW of high tension cables at Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun Modern Market, Isheri-Olofin, in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Alimosho Local Government.
The demolished structures at Lekki include 235 illegal shops and 125 containers. Chairman of the state task force, Superintendent of Police Olayinka Egbeyemi, led the team, in conjunction with officials of the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency.
Cautions market leaders
Egbeyemi called on market leaders (Iya Oloja and Baba Oloja) to take it upon themselves in enforcing government directives on staying away from RoW of high tension cables across the state.
Egbeyemi disclosed further that the exercise embarked upon by the government should not be seen as punitive, but as an effort by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode towards saving lives and properties of members of the public.
He urged market leaders at all local governments and LCDAs to support government by educating traders on the imminent danger of trading under high tension cables.
Egbeyemi said the demolition was carried out after the expiration of a seven-day notice served on shops owners and all traders.
While disclosing that the team will soon move to other identified locations, stressed that no responsible and responsive government would tolerate any trading activities under such dangerous condition.
‘We’ve been here for 20 years’
However, the Chairman of the Spare Parts Traders Association at the market, Mr. Ugo Onuoha, said they have been operating at the market for more than 20 years.
He explained that the market was constructed by Igbara communities, which comprises three different families namely Lawal, Balogun and Badanu families.
Onuoha claimed that the families collect N3,000 to N5,000 from those selling inside a container shop, while others who trade inside brick shops pays N10,000 to N20,000 monthly.
He and his Vice, Mr. Lazarous Obina, however, pleaded with the government to construct low medium market for traders around the area as those constructed by private developers were beyond their reach.
A representative of Lawal family, Mr. Lateef Lawal, who spoke on behalf of his family, said since the government served the notice on the market, the Igbara communities have started looking for a possible relocation of traders to a new land around the area.
Lawal commended the state government for serving notices ahead of the demolition exercise.
He said the notice had enabled all traders to move their wares and properties from individual container and shop before the demolition.