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LAGOS: Demolition of Alaba market done to save lives, no witch-hunt – Govt

THE State Government has defended the recent demolition of distressed buildings in the Alaba International Market in Ojo local government area of the state.

Many Nigerians had expressed concern over the demolition of the market populated by traders from the South-East.

There were insinuations that the exercise was the state’s government’s own way of getting back to the Igbos for rejecting the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general election.

Traders in the market led by the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, met with Sanwo-Olu on the demolition exercise recently and dismissed the insinuations that it was targeted at the people from the South-East.

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki, who visited the market for an on-the-spot assessment of the demolition site, insisted that the exercise neither a witch-hunt nor intended to acquire the land but to protect lives.

He was accompanied on the trip to the market by his counterpart in the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), Kehinde Osinaike, and members of the seven-man committee set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the aftermath of the demolition exercise.

They were led on the trip by the Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluwole Sotire.

During the visit, Oki explained that the demolition was simply to enforce the laws and prevent building collapse.

He said most of the demolished buildings were without permits.

The LABSCA chief said: “All we are after is that the lives of traders and other Nigerians are extremely important to the Lagos State Government.

“I have seen people painting buildings that are dilapidated, that are not good, it is not painting that makes a building new. Our lives are more important.

“My mandate is to remove anything that is dilapidated, that is harmful to the people that even own it.”

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