Some federal and state lawmakers on Friday rose up in defence of the Lagos State Government’s decision to demolish the Owonifari Market within the notorious loop of Oshodi, describing the development as a necessary step towards the actualization of Oshodi transformation plan.
The government had relocated traders at the Owonifari Market to the nearby newly built ultra-modern Isopakodowo Market before the demolition exercise Wednesday morning.
A lawmaker representing Agege Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Taofiq Adaranijo, in reaction to the development, said contrary to the criticisms trailing the action, what the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has done was a wonderful development aimed at restoring sanity to the area.
He said: “When you go round other parts of the world, you will hardly see a market in such a place and constructing a bus terminal there will beautify the place and change that environment for good. It will add colour to the megacity that we are dreaming for Lagos and this is a bold step towards achieving the transformation plan”.
“Those are the things we want the Governor to continue to do. Although it is going to be hard and it will be a difficult decision to take, at the end of the day, people will appreciate it. They may not see it at the beginning but at the end of the day, they will appreciate it and that is a good step in the right direction”, Adaranijo added.
Also speaking in an interview with journalists, a member representing Epe State Constituency 2 in the State House of Assembly, Segun Olulade, said the demolition was not done with any bad intention, but that same was in best interest of all residents of the State.
According to Olulade, Oshodi is gradually becoming a haven for criminals and what the government has done will no doubt check crime, enhance security around the area and aid free flow of traffic.
He said: “Some people are claiming that the traders were not given enough notice to quit the market before the demolition exercise took place as required by law, but when situations like this arise, nobody will say they were adequately notified. There is no reason for anyone to be mischievous about the demolition. The Governor means well for the State and that was why the leadership of the market was severally engaged before the government went on to demolish the market”.
“Once again, the people should understand that the administration of Governor Ambode has good intentions. I believe that once government comes on board with its plans for the market, we will all commend government for a job well done and appreciate the action taken”, Olulade said.
Another member of the Assembly representing Ifako/Ijaiye Constituency 1, Dayo Fafunmi said the plan of the State Government was to make Oshodi a place where everyone will be proud of.
He said: “I am very much aware that the government gave the traders enough notice. The duty of regulating and maintaining the environment for the overriding public interest is paramount in the State”.
“I just want to implore our people to cooperate with the government because the administration of Ambode has good plans for the people”, Fafunmi said.