By Kingsley Adegboye, LAGOS
Agboju Amuwo Planks and Building Materials Market, Wednesday, protested at the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, office in Festac Town against the demolition of their market, just as the FHA said it has commenced restoration of the festival town, starting with the demolition of illegal structures.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on the restoration of Festac town organised by FHA, its South-West Zonal Manager, Mr. Akintola Olagbemiro, said in 2020, there was a petition to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, about illegal structures that had taken over Festac Town.
Olagbemiro said: “This year, we commenced the restoration of Festac town following the consent judgement from the court against illegal occupants of Festac land.
“Our action is to save the residents from the insecurity that has taken over the entire Festac as a result of illegal structures everywhere.”
The chairman of allottees of First Gate to Third Gate, Mr. Kole Olatunji, in his remarks, said the land from First Gate to Third Gate was allocated between 1985 and 1999, noting that with the consent judgment, original owners of the land as allocated should take over their plots.
Plank traders fault FHA over demolition
But the chairman of plank market, Muhammed Bello, who said they were served seven days notice, noted that they were asked to leave the place without alternative.
Bello said: “How do they expect us to remove our wares in seven days?
“What we want is that they should allow us to remain there and we will pay whatever amount they ask us to pay.”
Also back the plank traders, chairman of Cane chair and Furniture Association, Emmanuel Okoye said: “We need freedom. Let them tell us where they want us to stay. That place was swampy. We filled the place with several millions of Naira which we got as loans.
“We also rely on loans to do our business. Whatever the government wants us to pay; we are ready to pay to remain there. We have been there for 27 years. What we lost to the demolition is over N300 million.”