Worried by the harassment and violent attacks from hoodlums and some people claiming to be working for Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, a group of Igbo traders in Alaba International market has appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to help them by taking urgent steps to save their lives and means of livelihood.
Making the appeal, the chairman of Alaba Igbo Traders Association, Chief Valentine Obasi, lamented that he and members of his association are not only being disturbed from carrying out their legitimate businesses but are also being harassed and persecuted daily by some hoodlums, and people who claim to be working for the local government.
He said: “These people attacking us are behaving as if they are above the law. We have reported them to the chairman of Ojo LGA on several occasions but no action has been taken against them.
“Last year, they vandalised my plaza, and goods worth over N7.5 million were carted away. This is how they also attack other members of my association almost on a daily basis.
“I have been appealing to my members to remain calm in the face of these provocative attacks because we are law-abiding citizens. Our association is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and we are Nigerians.
“So, why are we being harassed and persecuted in the same market where Hausa and Yoruba traders are not being disturbed? We want Governor Sawo-Olu to order the Ojo LGA chairman to let us be. We are bonafide citizens of Nigeria; they should stop disturbing us.
“We don’t want a situation where there will be violence, and breakdown of law and order because my members are fed up with harassment by these hoodlums. “My members are peace loving. We are citizens of Nigeria, and we pay our taxes and levies as at when due to both Lagos and Ojo LGA that controls the Alaba market. So, we don’t see any reason why our members should be disturbed or be harassed.
“These people are desperate to destroy us and our businesses. They falsely accused us of being IPOB members.
“Not only that, they also falsely accused us of not supporting All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. All these are tissues of lies. We have been supporting APC in Lagos State since the time of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as governor in 1999.
“We supported former governors Babatunde Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, and we are also fully supporting Sanwo-Olu.”