The local council also assured the traders that it has no deal with any contractor or developer to demolish and rebuild any structure in the market.
The council position was sequel to a protest staged by traders in the market on Wednesday, following a rumour that the block MP/BC section of the market are to be demolish on Thursday, for reconstruction.
The traders and a human rights group, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) led by Comrade Isiak Olaitan Buna, have protested move by a contractor, Adedapo Alli Balogun, who claimed that he has given an approval by the Lagos Island Local Government, to demolish and reconstruct that market.
The traders and HURMA have appealed in a letter to the local government to stop the contractor from demolishing the market, as the period given to them is yet to expired.
HURMA in a petition dated …., 2019, on behalf of the traders to the council captioned “threat to unlawful demolish blocks MP/BC at Ebute-Ero Gorodomu market: ‘a call to urgently intervene and investigate to prevent break down of law and order’, have appealed to the council chairman, stop the developer from demolishing the market.
The group and traders’ letter reads in part:
“We wish to bring to your notice for urgent intervention, the plight of some traders at the above mentioned market in Lagos Island who have recently cried to the leadership of HURMA, over a recent threat by some yet to be fully uncovered people, to demolish the market for unknown reason and without any notification or any fault whatsoever.
“It was reasonably gathered that similar event occurred in the year 2005, during the reign of Hon. Derin Yusuf, the then council chairperson, when some contractors stormed the market, allegedly on her authority and demolished the entire structure without prior quit notice, to destroy a means of livelihood of many Lagosians.
”We felt highly disheartened to learn that a democratically elected chairman of the closest government structure to the people, could automatically attack the economic base of same people that voted him to office. Though the above is a past event, a possible payback remedy is still under deliberation.
“It is therefore our request to your honourable office to rise to the plight of the people of Ebute-Ero Market to protect their market from being attacked, except through a normal process of eviction as legally permissible via proper service m the occupiers. Anything short of this would be considered an infringement on heir fundamental rights and shall as well be duly challenged”.
However, while the protest was on, Mr. Yusuf Olatunji Olayigbade, Chief of Staff to Mr. Olutoyose Olushi, the council chairman, informed the traders to continue with their business as the government have no plan to demolish and rebuild the market now.
Yussuf who is also the Council’s Officer-In-Charge of Works and Housing said: “am directed by the executive chairman, Tijani Olutoyose Olushi, to address the traders in Mogbonjubola plaza, Gorodomu.
“Mogbonjubola plaza was given to the contractor in 2004 and the contractor has a duration of 20 years. The contractor now came down to the local government that he wanted to renew, the we asked him on what basis? We need to hear from the traders.
“It was in view of that, that the executive chairman directed me here, that I should alert all the traders that they should all remain in their shops, that’s the position of the local government now.
“Am telling you now that at the local government level, the particular building that was given to the traders in Mogbonjubola should remain in their shops as their no any plan to demolish and rebuild it now”.
Reacting to the local government’s position, the leader of the traders, Alhaja Omobola Arowolo, commended the local government management for coming to the rescue and save them from being send out of business.
In the same vain, HURMA’s Executive Director, Comrade Buna, while appreciating the Olushi left administration in the area, called on other political office holders to desist from any act that will compound people’s plight.
The contractor, Otunba Balogun, despite being informed of the council’s position on his claim that he has been awarded a contractor to reconstruct the market, failed to respond to both calls and messages sent to him.