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Traders displaced as Ile-Epo market is demolished

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Scene of demolition at Ilepo Market in Oke Odo… yesterday

The popular Ile-Epo Foodstuff Market in Abule-Egba of Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, Lagos, was yesterday demolished for the construction of a modern market to be built through Public Private Partnership.

On ground to supervise the demolition of the market were officials of task force, who ensured that there was no resistance from the traders.

As early as 8am, caterpillars were already at work, pulling down structures.

Some of the traders who were on ground tried to evacuate their wares as many packed their wares on the median and road, causing traffic gridlock.

It was gathered that the Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA, in conjunction with the developer, Total Value Integrated Limited, carried out the demolition.

Mrs. Augustina Egbuonu, 68, who claimed to be the Financial Secretary of the Ile-Epo Market Association, said she had been in the market for 20 years and that she invested N18 million in the market, but lamented that it had gone down the drain.

She alleged that the developer, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) and the council connived to drive them out of the market so that they could give the union a park inside the market.

But the Managing Director, Total Value Integrated Limited, Chris Onyekachi said the traders were given 18 months to vacate and while some left, others refused.

He faulted claims that they connived with NURTW and the council to drive the traders out of the market, saying it was a rumour.

He added that once the redevelopment of the market was complete, the traders would be given preference at discounted rate to own shops in the market before others.

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