By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Traders at the Alaba Rago Market in Ojo Council area of Lagos State have been served a 14-day eviction notice to enable the state government in a bid to embark on the modernisation of the market.
The eviction order followed several months of negotiations between Lagos State Government and representatives of the occupiers of the market on the modernisation process.
Our correspondent gathered that the 14- day ultimatum notice to vacate the market was served in Thursday through a joint team of Rapid Response Squad and Lagos Taskforce. The joint team, which was led by Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi and Chairman, Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce), CSP Sola Jejeloye met the occupants of the market in clusters to inform them of the 14-day vacation order.
The Head, Public Affairs Unit Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Moliki Femi confirmed the development in a release made available to journalists.
According to the release, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi stated that emerging security reports from the area have shown that Alaba Rago has become a den of criminals stressing that the State Government has concluded plans to modernize the place in the shortest possible time in the best interest of the residents. He stated that, last week’s recovery of several guns in Alaba Rago by Ojo Police Division and the revelation by drug dealers that they regularly channel drugs through the area to several parts of the State are the more reasons government needs to move swiftly to modernise the area for there to be orderliness. Egbeyemi noted that the demolition of the area is in conformity with Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda on Environment and Security, adding that Government is bothered by the shanties and the filthy conditions of the area, hence modernising it would be in the best interest of the occupiers.
Egbeyemi beseeched the occupiers not to read ethnic and religious motives into the exercise, noting that Lagos State is a convergence point for all Nigerian, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or tribes. On his part, CSP Shola Jejeloye noted that many meetings have been held with all the major stakeholders in the past and that the demolition should have taken place during the Ramadan.
He added that Government was sensitive to delay it in order for those who travelled for the Ramadan to be around. He stated that after the 14-day ultimatum for the residents to temporarily relocate for the cleaning up and modernisation, the team would not listen to further excuses from the occupiers.