By Lukman Olabiyi
A group of traders occupying ‘Pepsi Building’ of the popular Gorodum Market in Lagos Island, has pleaded with the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to stop Local Government in the area from making live difficult for them through desperate move to demolish their building for selfish interest.
The traders made the plea in a petition dated January 11, 2021, captioned ‘protest against proposed wrongful and illegal demolition of our shops, stalls at Block ‘N’, Pepsi Building, Allocated to us by the Lagos Island West Local Government’.
In the petition, the aggrieved traders in the market, through their representatives, Ayisat Dada-Ajose and Dada David, narrated how the management of the Lagos Island Local Government area, attempted to send them out of business under the pretence of renovating the building, against the clearance and certification by the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LAMTL)
The traders also claimed that on two occasions, they have been forced by management of council to carry out renovations of the buildings, which gulped N12 million but the council still carried on with the threat of demolishing it.
Again, the traders alleged that a reliable source within the council had informed them that the local government had entered into an agreement with a developer/commercial builder, which made it to be desperate in demolish the building.
However, the council management has debunked the traders’ claims that it intend to send them out of business, said the move is to prevent the case of collapse building in the area, as the structure in question, is due for reconstruction, having been renovated three times by the traders without the council’s knowledge.
Reacting to the traders’ claims, Prince Toyese Olushi and Mr. Olayigbade Yussuf Olatunji, the Council chairman and the Chief of Staff to chairman/supervisor for works, respectively, said there is no element of truth in the traders allegations, as it has no contractual agreement with the traders but the contractor that developed the structure.