Ikosi Ketu Fruit Market Demolished By Lagos State Government

The popular Ikosi-Ketu Fruit Market in Ketu area of Lagos, Southwest
Nigeria was on Friday demolished to pave way for a modern market in the
area.

The Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area, LCDA, has
awarded the reconstruction of the dilapidated market to Total Value
Integrated Service Limited, which is committing about N2.8 billion for
reconstruction.

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Around 10.00am on Friday, two bulldozers,
escorted by policemen, mostly from task force stormed the market to
ensure that there was no resistance during the demolition.

There
was initial resistance from touts in the market who hauled bottles at
the police. The police responded by shooting sporadically in the air to
scare away the touts and also shot several canisters of teargas to
disperse traders unwilling to leave the market.

Some traders, who
were in the market earlier were able to rescue some of their wares, but
others were not so lucky as they were prevented from gaining access
into the market to salvage their wares.

Some of the traders
lamented that they were informed sometimes ago about the demolition, but
said they were not informed a day prior to the pulling down of their
shops.

One of the local Coordinators of the Oodua Peoples
Congress, OPC, in the area, Adebowale Adetona said they were informed
some weeks ago that they were coming to demolish the market, but that
they did not notify them of the latest development.

But Chris
Onyekachi, Managing Director, Total Value Integrated Service Limited,
when contacted told newsmen that the traders were giving adequate notice
to vacate the market for redevelopment, adding that series of meetings
were held with the traders union, traditional rulers and council members
on the proposed reconstruction of the market.

“We gave them
notice three weeks ago which has expired and we gave them another seven
days notice to move their wares to other areas of the market. They are
aware,” he said.

“We held meetings with the Iya Olojas, Baba
Olojas and we agreed on the mode of demolition. Some people kicked
against it and because we want peace to reign, we met with the obas and
we saw reasons why the market should be reconstructed. Some miscreants
don’t want the redevelopment. We are not interested in chasing people
away from the market. Those who owns shop earlier will be considered
first in re-allocation at a discounted rate.

“We want to upgrade
the market to meet the Lagos mega city standard and we are doing it in
phases. We will not shut the whole market. The development will be in
four phases and the market occupies 25 acres. We have 18 month duration
to rebuild the market and we will invest about N2.8 billion in the
reconstruction. The reconstruction of the first phase will begin in
January,” he said.

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