A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Barr. Nkechi Chukwueke on Sunday said the demolition of the popular Owonifari market in Oshodi area of Lagos State is not targeted at any particular tribe, especially the Igbo.
Pouring encomiums on the State Government for taking the bold move, Chukwueke, who served as Special Assistant on Women Ethnic Group Mobilisation/Empowerment to former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola said not only Igbo but traders from other ethnic groups were also affected in the exercise, which according to her “was carried out in good faith and in accordance with the rule of law”.
She further urged the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to focus on his task of ensuring a crime-free Lagos that is conducive for all and sundry.
“I have told a lot of my people from the East that the exercise was carried out in good faith by the State Government to rid Lagos of crime, restore sanity to the area and ensure the master plan of Lagos State is not tampered with.
“From facts available, the State Government gave enough notice to these traders and even provided alternative market for them to relocate to but many of them refused to go because they believe they won’t make much sales if they go to the new place.
“The truth is, we must rally round the Governor to ensure that Lagos works. The Governor means well for Lagos and he stands to gain nothing by demolishing people’s shops. There are laws of the land and it must be obeyed by all for the state to progress,” she said.
Also, Chairman of Conference 57, the umbrella body of Executive Secretaries of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State, Hon. Alabi Kolade David faulted those castigating the Governor over the demolition, insisting that the action was a positive step geared towards development and progress.
David said those calling the Governor names over the development were exhibiting ignorance and lack of foresight, as same was in line with the transformation plan of government for Oshodi.
David, who described Oshodi as an international gateway to Lagos and indeed Nigeria, said the demolition was a positive step towards transforming Lagos into mega city compared to other cosmopolitan city-states of the world.
“What the Governor has done is a wonderful thing as it will ease off a lot of things in Oshodi. Those people that are saying negative things about the Governor are the people that do not want Lagos to transform into the megacity that we are all yarning for.
“That place is an international gateway to Nigeria. It is the face of Lagos and face of Nigeria because Lagos represents Nigeria. If we want development for Nigeria, if we want development for Lagos and if we want to be put in our rightful position, that market must be demolished,” David said.
While insisting that Lagos State has done well in providing markets for the people, David said as an LG boss, he has had course to mobilize people to apply for the numerous markets available in the State.