Traders in Abeokuta Appeal for Relocation After Demolition of Illegal Shops

BYRNES DAVE
4 Min Read
Traders in Abeokuta Appeal for Relocation After Demolition

In the wake of the Ogun State government’s demolition of illegal shops and shanties in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, traders in the Panseke, Kuto, Idiaba, and Nawarudeen areas have appealed for relocation.

The demolition, which began early Thursday, targeted structures erected around public properties such as schools, under bridges, and unauthorized places. These actions were part of an effort to clear public spaces and reduce criminal activities.

Our correspondent, who monitored the demolition, observed that traders who had placed their wares on walkways, drainage, and sections of the road had their goods seized, and their makeshift structures destroyed. Many traders scrambled to salvage their belongings, while others lamented their losses.

Farouk Akintunde, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Environment, led the operation and explained that the demolition followed the expiration of a notice issued to the traders. He cited security concerns and traffic congestion as reasons for the government’s action.

READ ALSO: FCTA Marks 500 Illegal Structures for Demolition in Abuja

“We issued them a notice last year, but they refused to leave. The notice has expired, so we are here to demolish all makeshift shanties and illegal structures,” Akintunde said. “These shanties have become a hideout for criminals, and the government won’t tolerate such. The activities of these traders have also worsened the traffic situation in these areas.”

Akintunde added that the demolition would be a continuous exercise across the state.

In response, the affected traders appealed to the state government for a suitable and affordable alternative location to continue their businesses. They cited the economic crisis and high rent costs as reasons for their reliance on trading in unauthorized areas.

Aminat Oyebanjo, a widow and trader, lamented that economic hardship forced her to trade under the bridge. “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 from loans, and we have children to feed. I am a widow,” she said.

Another trader, Mrs. Ogunsola from the Panseke area, urged the government to establish a monitoring team to identify and deal with those violating the no-trade-on-walkway policy and causing gridlock. She pointed out that commercial motorcyclists and unidentified traders were primarily responsible for the congestion.

READ ALSO: Enugu Widows, Residents in Distress Over Demolition

“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,” said another trader who preferred to remain anonymous.

Taoreed Amodemaja, the head of the traders at Panseke market, supported the demolition but emphasized the need for traders to comply with government directives. He stated that market leaders would continue to educate traders on the importance of following the rules.

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