Secretary of the market, Mr. Adegbite Omoluabi, popularly known as ‘Baale,’ said he had no prior knowledge of the demolition.
“I don’t know anything about this demolition. I don’t know what is happening. It took us by surprise. I was called on my cell phone that shops were being demolished.”
Another trader, Mrs. Ajose Laoye, who deals in toiletries, said, “This is the height of impunity; it is madness. There was no notice; we got to the market to see this. If we were given a notice, one or two occupants among 100 shop owners would have packed out.
“Each of us bought our shops with a huge amount of money from one of the past administrations of the local government.”
Similarly, Mrs. Bukola Alao, another trader in the market, said the officials of the council came to the market early in the day to paste notices of demolition.
“Immediately they did that, they began the demolition after taking photographs of the pasted notices,” Alao said.
Another trader, Mr. Rasheed Ijadunola, lamented that he lost about N3.5m in the demolition, apart from N800,000 he used to buy the shop in 2002.
However, the Executive Secretary of the council, Mr. Jelili Sulaeman, in a reply to an SMS sent to his cell phone said, “Sorry, I’m busy. Call back later.”