Fashola To Sack 30,000 Katangowa Traders

Babatunde Fashola The popular Katangowa market in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, LCDA of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, will soon be no more. The market is known for second hand clothes business, popularly called Okirika and spare part trading.

With a population of over 30, 000 traders, the market is one of the biggest Okirika market in Nigeria. The traders claimed they have been trading in the area for about 30 years.

Last Thursday, Governor Babatunde Fashola, during a tour of facilities in the Lagos metropolis visited the market as part of plans by the government to build a Digital Village that may cost the government billions of naira in the area.

The plan was to relocate the traders in Computer Village in Ikeja to the area. If this is achieved, what is the fate of the displaced traders in the Katangowa market?

When Governor Fashola was addressed by the traders, he said the government has no plan to relocate them to another area, as they were not the rightful owners of the land.

He said the 17 hectares of land being occupied by the traders and squatters belonged to the state government and the government was not ready to pay compensation to illegal occupants on its land.

The traders had appealed to the governor to resettle them at Amikanle area, which the government had earlier promised to do, but Fashola did not make any commitment to it.

Fashola stated that his administration had kept a track record of resettling and paying compensation to people who had been displaced from their lawfully acquired property.

He, however, said that in a situation where people encroached into government’s land illegally, they should not expect compensation or resettlement when such property is re-acquired by government.

“As far as resettlement is concerned, we have always played an exemplary role . We did Isale Gangan redevelopment, we did Oluwole redevelopment and we resettled the people involved. But in cases where people are squatters, they have no rights over the property.

“The law does not protect illegality, it protects rights and you do not acquire rights by acting illegally. Human rights are legal rights; they are not rights acquired by illegal conduct and we must understand this in a democracy,” he said.

Fashola challenged anybody who claimed to have been deprived of his legally acquired property by his administration without getting compensation to bring forward such claim.

“All of the demolition we did to expand the Badagry Expressway, we are still giving compensation to the displaced people. The people that are displaced in Oshodi will soon relocate to a new market that is ready. We have intervened in Obalende without necessarily displacing the rightful owners.

“I hope that members of the public will understand that they can’t have a right to a place by jumping onto the roadside and saying it is where they must trade. May be, it may be politically popular to agitate citizens who are not aware of what their rights and obligations are.

“People escalate these things. Some people, societies or organisations make profit and get grants at the behest of the so-called masses they claim to be fighting for. The masses don’t have the right to break the law and if they do, we will enforce it,” he stated.

Mr. Femi Adedeji, who spoke on behalf of the traders, said displacing the traders from the market would not augur well with them, as it would have negative impact on them and the state. He claimed that the government had initially said it would relocate the traders to Amikanle area of the state.

PM News

  1. SIRAJ MUHAMMAD FUNTUA Reply

    The law Governor. All you said is the truth, but do not forget that the 30,000 people to be displaced are still Lagosians or residents of Lagos that have a family to cater for. They could have acquired the land illegally, but they are still among the Lagos people you are governed. Right or wrong, a good leader carries everyone along. You can use your left hand to cane them and use the right hand to draw them close to you by relocating and charging them some certain amount of money; with this they become responsible Lagosians. The government benefits from them and they become as well the beneficiaries of the government. They will forever be grateful to you and God almighty will be glad with you. Governor, please trade with caution. Today you are the Governor, tomorrow is the turn of another person. God almighty will definitely ask you the mode and manner that you governed Lagosians on the Day of Judgement. A word is enough for the wise.

  2. Rex Reply

    The action governor, I agree with you as well agree with the above comment. They have been trading there before you ever thought of been a governor, therefore please, help them to be a responsible Lagosian. Law is made for the people and not people for the law, Their are LAW and there is a place for TRADITION. We appeal to you to make use of the latter so as not to create another problem in the cause of solving one.

    Thank you Mr Governor

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