Ile Ekpo Market Demolition, Price Of Mega City?
The Lagos State government's drive to quickly turn the tiny state into a Mega Smart City is moving fast and shop owners in Araromi Oke-Odo Ile Ekpo Market got a taste of the 'bitter-sweet' pill over the weekend.
Before they slept on Thursday, very many of them had calculated what the sales will be like on Friday, looking forward to it like a day with great promises.
But they were not aware that Thursday was the last time they will stay in the comfort of their shops and do business.
They had arrived at the market as usual on Friday morning only to meet bulldozers waiting to carry out a demolition order.
Some said the order came from Agbado Oke Odo Local Council Development Area.
Take your wares and leave, security personnel that had arrived earlier than the shop owners continued to warn them.
A certain time was set for them to move their items, but they insisted the time was too short.
Ile Ekpo is a popular market along Abeokuta Express Way, few kilometres away from the new Jubilee Bridge at Abule Egba.
When Bounce News visited the location on Sunday, shop owners were lamenting, wondering how they could get money to pay for new shops.
Many shop owners have now pitched their tents very close to the road, bearing the burden of moving bags of rice, Semovita and and other food items on a table they had set up by the road side.
Few of them who agreed to speak to our correspondent, Williams Osewezina, said their businesses have been affected and that they have been made to begin to search for shops again.
One of the persons affected, Danjuma Jafar, claimed they were warned to move their goods.
"They gave us notice on Thursday and then on Friday they came to demolish the market.
They have asked persons who sell tomatoes not to bring any tomato or pepper here.
"I saw mobile police officials and soldiers ordering people to leave," he said.
The usual busy market has become a shadow of itself, scanty with sellers managing by the roadside.
Also Read: Traders Count Losses After Oshodi Demolition
According to Jafar, the tomatoes sellers have moved to Tipper Garage, a new location they have found some kilometres away from the market.
A woman, who said she was not sure of why the government demolished the place believes new structures would be erected there.
She said she lost some of her wears to some hoodlums who took advantage of the disarray caused by the demolition to loot shops.
Part of her pain is that she has lost her customers and will need to begin afresh to build new ones.