Heritage Reporter

the preferred source for fresh top stories

Ogun demolishes ‘illegal’ shops, shanties in Abeokuta

Ogun State Government in the early hours of Thursday, began the demolition of shanties and shops erected around public properties like schools, under bridges, and unauthorised places in Panseke, Kuto, Idiaba, and NawarUdeen areas of Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State, to pave the way.


Our correspondent, who monitored the demolition, observed that traders who placed their wares on the walkways, drainage, and sections of the road had their goods seized while their makeshifts were destroyed.

Also, some of the traders were seen scampering to salvage their goods from the demolition, while others lamented their losses.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Environment, Farouk Akintunde, who led the operation, disclosed in an interview that the exercise came after the expiration of a notice issued to the traders.

He added that the shanties had become a hideout for criminals, which has resulted in insecurity while lamenting that illegal trading on the road and walkways had compounded gridlock in the areas.

Akintunde said, “We have issued them a notice since last year, but they refused to leave. The notice has expired. That is why we are here to demolish all makeshift, shanties, and illegal structures.

“These shanties have become a hideout for criminal elements, and the government won’t tolerate such. Aside from that, the activities of these traders have worsened the traffic situation in these areas.”

The governor’s aide added that the demolition would be a continuous exercise across the state.

Meanwhile, the traders, in a separate interview with our correspondent, appealed to the state government to provide them with a suitable and affordable alternative location to ply their trade.

They blamed the current economic crisis and the high cost of rent for the reason why they had resorted to trading on the sections of the road.

A trader, Aminat Oyebanjo, lamented that economic hardship and her widow status forced her to resort to trading under the bridge.

She said, “We were told to adjust our makeshifts from the road, which we complied with. I am also not pleased with trading on the road, but the high cost of renting a shop has left me with no option. A single shop in this area costs N10,000 and I can’t afford it from the petty goods I am selling.

“I am appealing to the government to reconsider its decision or provide us with an affordable alternative. Most of the traders are trading with money gotten from loans and we have children to feed. I am a widow.”

Another trader in the Panseke area who identified herself as Mrs Ogunsola urged the government to set up a monitoring team that would identify those violating the no-trade-on-walkway policy and the commercial motorcyclists responsible for causing gridlock in the area.

“Those who are mostly responsible for causing the gridlock and violating the no-trade-on-walkway policy are commercial motorcyclists and some unidentified traders who just come from anywhere and place their goods on the road.

“I am appealing that the government set up a monitoring team to identify these persons and deal with them decisively so that they don’t continue to put the legitimate traders into trouble.”

A trader who preferred not to be mentioned in print added, “We are appealing to the government to forgive us because we do not have another means of livelihood. If we don’t come to trade, we cannot feed our children. We are not against the actions of the government; we are just pleading for mercy.

“If the government can provide us with another place where we can trade, we will be glad to relocate and comply with instructions.”

However, the head of the traders at the Panseke market, Taoreed Amodemaja, who lauded the demolition, stressed that the failure of the traders to comply with repeated warnings forced the government to take action.

Amodemaja added that the market leaders would continue to sensitise the traders to the need to comply with the directives of the government.


Facebook Comments Box