By Bimbola Oyesola
Members of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians (NATA) Lagos State chapter, yesterday, shut down the Lagos State House of Assembly in protest over what they described as illegal taken-over of mechanic villages across the state.
This is even as the association said it lost eight of its members in the last six months with some suffering stroke and other ailments, and over N500 million lost, following the take over of the mechanic villages.
The protesters who gathered at Allen Round About in Ikeja about 9a.m disrupted the free flow of traffic on the Obafemi Awolowo Way as they marched to the State Assembly to lodge their complain.
Led by its chairman, Jacob Fayehun, they chanted solidarity songs and carried various placards with inscriptions, “Lagos State government stop killing us”, “Stop illegal demolition of mechanic villages in Lagos now!, “Destroying people’s livelihoods contribute to crime and insecurity, stop it”, “Ifelagba mechanic village was sold for N300 million, where is the money.”
When they got to the House of Assembly around 10am they were denied entrance by security agents who put up a barricade, but in spite of that they continued with their songs demanding to see the governor or speaker.
The chairman in an interview with journalists said the association decided to visit the governor and law makers as the take over of all mechanic villages had resulted in the untimely death of most members.
“We are here to protest the illegal demolition of mechanic villages given to us in 1981 by late Governor Lateef Jakande. When it was given to us most of those areas were swamp, but we developed and maintained them for our work, now the Ministry of Physical Planning through Toyin Soyinka, special assistant to the governor on transport has taken over, demolishing our workshops and selling them to highest bidders.”