Plank sellers resist OYSG alleged forceful ejection from market inspite of court injunction

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By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Fresh crisis is now brewing in Ibadan as Plank sellers at Temidire market, new Gbagi market resisted an alleged attempt by the Oyo State Government to forceful eject them from the market despite “an existing court injunction” .
The plank market while resisting the alleged planned ejection, sacked the representatives of the state government including some NSCDC members said to have stormed the market to commence the building of a modern market on the site by putting up a fence to cordon off trespassers from the market.
It was learnt that the plank traders having got wind of the government plans to storm the market with its men, arrived early, making bonfire in all the entrants leading into the market chanting songs to scare the government representatives and prevented them from entering the market.
The plank sellers while pointing out that they were ready to “defend” their right of ownership on the land also disallowed the workers from having access to some of their working tools.
During the drama, the plank sellers accused Oyo State Government of an attempt to take possession of the land despite the fact that there is an existing court injunction to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the case at the High Court.
In a chat with journalists, a plank seller in the markert, Mr Matthew Ojeyinka asked Governor Abiola Ajimobi to allow rule of law reign over the matter, saying, “in the first instance, Government has no right to take over the land because it is a private property without proper process”.
“The second reason is that the matter is currently before a competent court of law, hence there is no reason for today’s exercise. If the court rules that the government should take over, we will abide by it. But as at today, we’re standing on that injunction until another pronouncement by the court,” he said.
Speaking with journalists, the Chairman, Plank Sellers Association, Elder Samson Adesokan Alabi, declared that the government agents were restricted from gaining entrance into the market because they came with water tanker and other materials to erect fence and deny the traders access to the market.
“Their tankers and other equipments and material like blocks meant for use to erect fence round the market were seized by the traders. We did not destroy anything, just to ensure that we stopped them from their mission.
“They want to block us and our people did not allow them. The case is in court. There was a time that the court gave us interlocutory injunction because we had earlier vacated the land before and were settling down as refugees at Fasakin sawmill, but when the court (High Court) said pending the determination of substantive matter that we should go back to the land. We have document to back it up.”
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Communication & Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka in his reaction condemned the plank marketers’ action saying it was capable of destroying government’s good intention of putting up a modern market on the site.
“Our reaction to the stage-managed protest at the Temidire Market this morning is that it is misdirected and unfortunate. This project is only one among many of the ongoing statewide market redevelopment activities, and cannot therefore be sabotaged by any private interests purporting to represent some stakeholders.
“What we seek to do in Temidire plank market is to redesign and modernize the market with infrastructural facilities for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the neighboring communities who have endlessly complained against the environmental hazard that they’ve had to live with for a very long time. This is quite apart from the very important need to forestall the large scale fire incidences usually associated with plank markets located within built-up environments.
“The government is certainly not unaware of the manipulation of some fellows who are bent on seizing this opportunity to forment trouble and frustrate our urban renewal and market development efforts. For any avoidance of doubts, it is to be noted that the Temidire market development project is a task that must be done, no matter the machinations of some misdirected few. ”
It will be recalled that Oyo State Government last Monday hinted of its plans to upgrade all the markets in and across the  state as it partners with a private developer to reconstruct 820 shops at the Temidire plank market in Egbeda local government area of the state.
Addressing journalists last Monday in Ibadan, Mr Yomi Layinka said the state “government is planning to upgrade all markets across Oyo State as part of its cardinal point to modernise the market along with its urban renewal initiative. This will make the market more convenient and contribute to the economy of the state”.

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