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Council, traders battle lab scientist over road setback

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There is a crisis brewing between the Amukoko Market Association and Ifelodun Local Council Development Area on one hand and a laboratory scientist, Abimbola Adekoya, on the other hand over the reconstruction of a market structure on Cemetery Road.

Adekoya, who recently bought a landed property in the area, said the piece of land where the market structure was to be erected by the council would block entry into his property, thereby denying him and others access to the property.

He said, “The Chairman of ILCDA, Fatai Ajidagba, is using his powers to intimidate and suppress the people.

“For instance, he is insisting on constructing shops in front of people’s buildings – almost two or three buildings. But where he wants to construct the shop is a setback to the road, about 13 or 12 feet to the main road.

“He said our buildings are not facing Cemetery Road, and are in a close. But by virtue of the expansion of the road, these buildings now have the opportunity of facing the newly constructed road and that is what we are saying.

“When he constructed the first set of shops, the state task force officials went there and when they saw that it was an embarrassment, they pulled it down.

“The man went ahead to build it again. I went to his office and he told me that he was going to collapse four shops at the rate of N1m each to allow me access to my building. I declined because I could not pay to have access to my house.

“I wrote a petition to the governor, the commissioner for physical planning and the Lagos State Building Control Agency. The issue was investigated and some officials came there on Sunday, May 18, to pull the structures down the second time.”

The lab scientist pointed out that the chairman’s insistence on erecting the structures without approval was an abuse of power and a waste of tax payers’ money.

He said, “He told us that if he could not build on that piece of land, nobody would have access to it. Now, he has used barb wires to barricade the place, saying he wanted to plant flowers on the land. If that place is so good for planting flowers, why build on it in the first place?”

However, the council chairman explained that there had been a market structure that existed on the said portion of land for close to 20 years.

According to him, the structure was demolished to pave the way for the construction of the new Alaba road, with a promise that it will be rebuilt when the road is completed.

He said, “Adekoya bought a property at Amukoko. Meanwhile before then, there was an existing community market in that area. I was the one that demolished the market during the construction of Alaba road. Because I felt that the market will not be befitting for the road, I advised the market association that I would demolish it and reconstruct it after the inauguration of the road.

“The road was inaugurated over five months ago and the market association reminded me of my promise. The former owner of the property is aware that there was an existing market facing the road. Maybe Adekoya bought the property because he was told that he would have access to the space, whereas that portion of land belongs to the market association. Even if you take a good look at the place, you will notice the foundation of the old market on the ground.

“When we started rebuilding the market, he ran to the task force officials and they demolished the structure without any notice. I went to their office with the evidence to prove that there was an existing market on that portion of land. They realised that they acted wrongly, they apologised.

“After that I called Adekoya. He told me he wanted to use the portion of the land as a parking space for his laboratory when he eventually builds it. I decided to assess the place and if possible plead with the market association to give him space. When I got there, I realised that the structure would not affect his property.

“So we started the construction afresh. When the structure was nearing completion, on Sunday May 18, 2014, some unknown soldiers came, when I was not around and when people were in church, to demolish the structure again. I have taken the matter to the Lagos State House of Assembly.”

It was gathered that the market association had protested against the demolition of the structure the second time

The Secretary of the association, Mr. Luqman Iyeoda, told PUNCH Metro that the chairman was rebuilding the market in fulfillment of his promise.

“The old market here was demolished when they were building the road. The chairman promised to build a new structure for us.

We have protested against the demolition many times; we will not stop until our market is returned to us,” he said.

Article Credit: Punchng

Updated 5 Years ago

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