So Far, We Are Satisfied With Gov. Ambode, Assembly’s Intervention In Our Plight – Mr Nwobuisi Patrick, Chairman Of The Illegally Demolished Section Of Sabo Market.
Mr Nwobuisi Patrick, the chairman of the illegally demolished Section B of the Ayangbure Commodity Market popularly known as Sabo market in Ikorodu,in an interview with THE IMPACT stated that so far, the victims of the demolition are pleased with the intervention of the State Government under the leadership of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the Lagos State House of Assemly. He also informed that the marketers have resolved their differences with the management of Ikorodu Local Government and the matter they instituted in the court of law will be settled out of court soon: Excerpts:
IMPACT:Sir, what is your name and your position in the market?
Mr Patrick:My name is Mr Nwobuisi Patrick and I am the Chairman, Block B section of Sabo market.
IMPACT: In other words,can we say you are the chairman of the illegally demolished section of the market?
Mr Patrick: Yes.
IMPACT: What is the update now on the demolished shops?
Mr Patrick: The State Government has tried to bring the culprits of the illegal demolition to justice. On behalf of the Section B marketers,I thank Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for rising up to the occasion. He has been very wonderful and he has also responded quickly in a way and manner that gave us hope and assurance. He also sent his security personnel to look into the matter. We equally appreciative of the Lagos State House of Assembly’s intervention through our own, Hon. SOB Agunbiade. They have also called us to several meetings. It has been a very transparent process because we can see all what they are doing. The government has called all the parties – marketers, local government officials and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) representatives to a meeting to listen to all sides and the investigation is still on. The governor has asked us to bring our own developer and we have done that and also did undertaken for all the parties that we(the traders) will use our own developer. The governor does not want us to suffer anymore since he knows what we have being through.
IMPACT: You said that the governor has asked you to bring your own developer. Are you saying that the state government has agreed that the marketers should use their own developer who charged N300,000 per shop against the council’s developer that is charging N600,000 per shop?
Mr Patrick: Yes. At the rate which we, the marketers, can afford.
IMPACT: Which is N300,000?
Mr Patrick: You know the market rate then is quite different from what is it now, but there is no problem between us and our developer. It was also agreed that the old tenants of Section B will automatically occupy the shops when the place is redeveloped unlike in other sections where the old tenants were displaced. The government has also assured us that it will not allow such unfortunate incident to happen again.
IMPACT: What about the court case filed by your section since you all seem to be satisfied with the state government’s intervention?
Mr Patrick: We are trying to settle the matter out of court since we have had an understanding with the council.For sometime now up till yesterday, we have been at the state secretariat to get things sorted out and very soon we are going to resolve everything. Within two to three weeks, we should get the matter settled out of court and resolve the whole issue completely.
IMPACT: We also heard that after the demolition,three traders in your section whose shops were affected died. How true is this sir?
Mr Patrick: I had about it too but it’s only one that I can identify. We are planning to visit her family but we learnt that her corpse was taken to her village for burial and her husband is yet to return.
IMPACT: What about the issue of compensation for the victims of the demolition? What is the government saying in that regard?
M Patrick: The government asked us to compile the list of the affected marketers and their loss items which we have done and taken to the governor’s office. I strongly think that they are working on it and they will get back to us soon.
IMPACT: How many traders and shops were affected by the demolition?
Mr Patrick: According to the figure we gathered, there are 678 shops affected.
IMPACT: What is the relationship between your section and Iya Oloja, Alhaja Taofeekat Allison because we learnt that she is being alleged to be culpable in the demolition?
Mr Patrick: Presently, the market does not have any management. It has been a one-man empire as our so-called head(Iya Oloja) operates solely. There is no relationship between us. Since our section was illegally demolished on May 4, she has not been here or call us to sympathise with us.Instead,she has been going up and down to indict the marketers on the demolition. We don’t have any management.
IMPACT: Aside this demolition issue which the state government has intervened and addressed largely to your satisfaction, what other issues or areas do you think the government should be addressing in the market?
Mr Patrick:There are lots of them but do we have to take all our problems to Ambode? What have we done ourselves to salvage these situations despite what we are paying as dues? See refuse everywhere without adequate management. Go to the main gate and you will see for yourself heaps of refuse dumps. Is that how a market is supposed to look like? We pay money to the management but we don’t know where the money has been going to and this is why I said that we don’t have management. She does whatever she likes. We should be able to do things for ourselves first before calling on the government.
IMPACT: You said you were pleased with the way the state government has handled the matter concerning the demolition…(cut in)
Mr Patrick: Yes.
IMPACT: What has been the intervention of leaders in Ikorodu such as elected representatives and others?
Mr Patrick: Our people in Ikorodu, especially Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade has been trying to listen to us and has equally being addressing our problems. We have been invited twice and he has listened to us. We are satisfied with the way the matter has been handled and we are equally pleased with Hon SOB’s intervention. He has also told us sincerely that he knows nothing about the demolition contrary to what some people are saying. It is through his intervention that the Lagos State House of Assembly has intervened in the matter. There are other leaders in the town who stood up and condemned the dastardly act. Very soon,we will call you for the commissioning of our own complex and we are expecting the governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade to do the commissioning.Thank you.
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