Traders occupying the ‘Pepsi Building’ of Gorodom Market on Lagos Island have urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to stop an alleged move by the Lagos Island Local Government to demolish it for reconstruction allegedly due to its defective state.
The traders stated this in a January 11 petition captioned ‘Protest against proposed wrongful and illegal demolition of our shops, stalls at Block ‘N’, Pepsi Building, allocated to us by the Lagos Island West Local Government’.
The traders, through their representatives Ayisat Dada-Ajose and Dada David, claimed that the council attempted to evict them under the pretext of renovating the building, despite it being certified by the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LAMTL) as being structurally sound.
They alleged that on two occasions, they were forced by the council to renovate the buildings which they have occupied since 2006 and that they spent over N12 million in the process.
The traders said they were reliably informed that the council had entered into an agreement with a developer/commercial builder, under specified terms and conditions, that the project would be given to the highest bidder. The implication of this, they said, was that they would be under tremendous pressure to re-buy their stalls and shops at any arbitrary price demanded by the developer.
But the council management debunked the traders’ claims that it intended to immorally send them out of business, adding that the move is to prevent the building from collapsing, as the structure in question is due for reconstruction, having been renovated three times by the traders without the council’s knowledge.
Council chairman Toyese Olushi and his Chief of Staff/Supervisor for Works, Mr Olayigbade Olatunji said there was no iota of truth in the traders’ allegations, as it had no contractual agreement with the traders but the contractor that developed the structure.