The Lagos State Government has given the occupants and traders of Alaba Rago a 14-day ultimatum to vacate the market.
The government gave the eviction notice through a joint team of Rapid Response Squad and Lagos Taskforce.
In a statement on Thursday, the government said the decision was reached after several months of negotiation with representatives of the occupiers of Alaba Rago over the modernization of the market.
The statement was titled, ‘Alaba Rago: Lagos serves eviction notices’.
The joint team which was led by Commander Rapid Response Squad, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi and Chairman, Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce), Sola Jejeloye, met the occupants of the market in clusters to inform them of the 14-day vacation order.
Egbeyemi stated that emerging security reports from the area have shown that “Alaba Rago has become a den of criminals”, stressing that the state government has concluded plans to modernize the market in the best interest of the residents.
He stated that “last week’s recovery of several guns in Alaba Rago by Ojo Police Division and the revelation by drug dealers that they regularly funnel drugs through the area to several parts of the State is the more reasons government need to move swiftly to modernize the area for there to be orderliness.”
He noted that “the demolition of the area is in conformity with Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda on Environment and Security”, adding that “Government is bothered by the shanties and the filthy conditions of the area, hence modernizing it would be in the best interest of the occupiers”.
Egbeyemi beseeched the occupiers not to read ethnic and religious motives into the exercise, noting that Lagos State is a convergence point for all Nigerian, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or tribes.
Jejeloye noted that many meetings have been held with all the major stakeholders in the past and that the demolition should have taken place during Ramadan.
He added that the government was sensitive to delay the eviction in order for those who travelled for Ramadan to be around.
He stated that after the 14-day ultimatum for the residents to temporarily relocate for the cleaning up and modernization, the team would not listen to further excuses from the occupiers.