By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Lagos chapter has alleged a clandestine move by the state government to dislodged its members from the state, following plan to demolish the Oko-oba lairage and Abattoir.
It alleged that the plan is being conceptualised by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative Hon. Toyin Saurau.
Making the allegation at a press conference held at Oko-oba Abattoir weekend, chairman of the association Alhaji Mohammed Liliga claimed that the planned demolition exercise would make the fifth times the market is being demolished by the state government.
He also claimed that there was no provision for adequate alternative,adding however that the space provided is too small to accommodate them.
Disclosing that the planned eviction was communicated to them by the Commissioner on Friday at a meeting in Alausa, Liliga asserted that the traders may be forced to relocate out of the state if the plan is not shelved.
He therefore implored the state government to shelve the plan in the interest of ease of doing business and the consuming public, adding that the market is not meant for cow dealers in Lagos alone but the entire Africa.
His words, ” The Commissioner invited us to his office on Friday and told us that the state government wants to demolish the market. This is about the fifth times they would be demolishing it and this always happen when Ramadan is approaching and this is not fear.
We are Nigerians and being doing business here since 1997. Where they allocated to us is too smal, no place to rest, keep the cows, no toilet and place to pray. We cannot keep our cows far from us.
We advise the state government to have a re-think on the planned demolition exercise or we will be forced to move away from Lagos, we can’t do business where our interest is not guaranteed “.
Also speaking at the occasion, the state secretary of the association Mallam Maikudi Usman said members are not aversed to the upgrade of the market but the exercise should bear a human face.
Usman who said the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative Hon. Suarau should be held responsible if the market collapsed claimed that the government has reneged on its promise of adequate accommodation to them.
” When they demolished where we were before now, they told us that they want to build a transit camp and they will relocate us there after completion. They reneged on the promise “.
The cattle dealers’ scribe hinted that members would relocate to a more spacious place along Lagos-Ibadan for ease of doing business if the state government failed to rescind the decision.
In a quck reaction, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative Hon. Suarau debunked the allegation, saying government does not have the plan to evict anybody from the state.
Suarau explained that the government only planned to upgrade the market by developing its infrastructure to modern standard.