Why Traders Seek Sanwo-Olu’s Help, Protest Planned Market Demolition

Some traders at the Computer Village in the Ikeja area of Lagos State have opposed an alleged plan by the Police Wives Association to demolish the POWA Plaza in less than a month’s time…..CONTINUE READING HERE

The aggrieved traders appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the members of the state House of Assembly to intervene.

The chairman, Computer Dealer Association, Tayo Shittu claimed that the traders pay between N300,000 and N400,000 yearly and that the Police Wives Association wanted to destroy the shops out of selfish interest.

Shittu said, “We have reached out to POWA and they denied the letter saying that they do not know anything about it but we have a copy of the letter of acknowledgment. They want to use the excuse that the building has defects but it is a lie.

“They want to demolish this place for their selfish interest. Several hustling developers have refused to demolish this place. What we discovered is that there are two women from POWA who are majorly involved and one is the national chairman in Abuja.

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“We have up to 1,000 occupants in the plaza. We have gone to LABSCA and they conducted an integrity test on the building and said it is very okay. Some of them pay N300,000 while others pay N400,000 to the landladies every year and the most painful part is that some people have paid till 2026 and 2028.

The former chairman, Computer Dealers Association, Trust Tobechukwu, stated that although the dealers had appealed to the Police Wives Association, they had not received a response to date.

Tobechukwu said, “This plaza is owned by the Police Wives Association, some of them are widows while some are wives of retired police officers. Sometime in 2019, the plaza was marked for demolition and when we inquired, we discovered that it was not from the right source. We discovered it was a developer that had a connection that wanted to connive underneath.

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“We received a letter from a developer known as Achieving Greatness Properties to leave the place and we took the issue to POWA Lagos and they said the demolition would take place. We have written to the Inspector General of Police’s wife through our lawyer but we have yet to get any response from her. They should consider the occupants of the shops because this is our source of livelihood.

The Iya Oloja, Computer Village, Abisola Azeez, noted that problems could be fixed between the traders and the owners of the shops rather than displacing the dealers from their primary source of revenue.

She said, “My shop has been here since 1999. POWA always gives us issues here. We have our individual landlady. The traders are responsible for all the maintenance and development of the plaza. They want to dislodge us and bring in new people.

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“The plaza is a one-storey building and it does not have any structural defect. If they need an increase in payment or if there are any issue we need to resolve, they should tell us so we can resolve everything.

In an interview with PUNCH Metro, a trader at the POWA complex, Chimaeze Iwuji, said, “They told us they had 30 days to demolish the buildings. We told them to give us a proper letter from the appropriate authorities, they said no, we do not have any right to speak and we all felt intimidated. From all indications, it involves a developer and one or two people from POWA to demolish this place.”

All efforts to get the reaction of the liaison officer, POWA, Omoh Oziegbe, proved abortive as several calls and messages sent to her were not responded to as of the time of filing this report….CONTINUE READING HERE