… demand adequate compensation

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Shop owners in Oja Oba Ultra Modern Market and Suites have sent a Save-Our-Soul, SOS message to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu begging him to reverse the decision to demolish the complex.

Staging a protest to pass their message across, the shop owners on Thursday called on Governor Sanwo-Olu to consider adequate compensation for them if the government is not ready to reverse the decision to demolish the complex.

In a different inscription, “Soye Aderibigbe shopping complex, 7 days notice and without compensation is injustice, “compensation for 2018 still outstanding”, they demanded that 7days quit notice is a gross injustice.

Also read: Shop owners cry for help as fire destroys shopping complex in Osogbo

Recall that quit notice was served by Lagos State Government to Adesoye Aderibigbe Developer to vacate the compelled for the acquired property for the proposed construction of Lagos Bus Terminals and Depots on the notice reference number, MPP/DM/17/1449/287 dated September 4, 2018.

In his response to the notice, Adesoye Aderibigbe Developer through his legal counsel, Mr Ajibola Kaka of Ajibola Kaka &Co, Lagos, reacted that the developer was engaged by the Orile Age local government area in the year 2010 to hand reconstruction of the Oja Oba Ultra Modern Market and Suites with a further agreement on March 2014 to accommodate a total of 392 kee-klamps and 50 suites.

It further stated that out if 50 units of Suites built and sold out in line with the agreement, 8 units were demolished during the expansion and modernization of Abule Egba fly-over bridge without compensation till date.

Lamenting her ordeal, Alhaja Buhari, a shop owner within the complex said, seven days quit notice was served without adequate compensation.

“What we were told was that there is a proposed plan by the Lagos State Government to build BUS Terminal and so we were asked to remove our complex and all valuable items from the premises within 7 days of receipt of the notice.

“We bought some of the suites of the complex from Soye Aderibigbe Developer. The issue has been on the ground since 2017 and in 2018, Lagos State Government gave us the assurance that our case has been resolved and that we were no longer affected.

“Suddenly, on Thursday, December 3, a quit notice was served that we should quit the complex.

“The number of shop owners within the affected complex are 48 including women and men. We were told that only Oja Oba Ultra Modern Market and Suites 2 and Baba Oja complexes will be affected.

Another shop owner, Mr Ayoade Abbas, told Vanguard that his mother bought two of the suites within the complex. Adding that, although the intentions on the proposed BUS Terminal was good, it will be an injustice for the government not to consider adequate compensation for affected shop owners.

“We paid a huge sum of money to buy the suites and stock our shops just to earn a living. Since the issue, we have written letter and we were expecting a positive response but unfortunately, we got a notice to quit.

“We are all devastated. We are expecting proper compensation but all we are seeing is negative. They have determined to crash down our businesses without adequate compensation. We do not have other sources of livelihood.

“We are pleading with the government to give room for negotiation. We need time to vacate.

Also, Mrs Nkechi Fabusuyi, said, “I bought my suite since 2004. I am into telecoms. I received the news with shock. I thought the issue has been settled. In 2016, 16 shops out of our complex were demolished. Till now, no compensation has been made in that regard. Now, they came back and gave us 7 days notice to quit.

“This is wickedness in terms like this when the economy is threatened and people’s means of livelihood are taken by Lagos State government.

“We are just recovering from COVID-19 lockdown and aftermath of EndSARS protest. The news we heard was that the Oja Oba Ultra Modern Market and Suites 1 was not affected but we are on the same lane.

Also, Mr. Tunde Adeagbo, a shop owner, said, the recent development was shocking adding that it is against the contract agreement of 25 years signed by both government and developer on the property.

“This is just 5 years of the purchase. Three years ago, the letter demolition letter was brought and was resolved, now they have come again.

“This is yuletide season, many people have bought goods for sale. We do not know how else, the government wants us to provide for our needs since they have concluded plans to render us jobless.

“How do they want us to live or pay back the loan we borrowed to bankroll our business? This is wickedness. Coming here to demolish the complex is like destroying the livelihood of our families”, he lamented.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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