Sunday, January 10, 2016 11:36 pm
Traders at the popular Ile-Epo Market in Abule Egba area of Lagos State have called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to urgently wade into last Thursday’s mayhem in the market which led to a serious blood bath.
Policemen from Idimu and Ile-Epo Police Station and thugs from the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, brought by the Executive Secretary of Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, LCDA allegedly invaded the market where some traders were shot by the police and others macheted by thugs.
The traders in a statement issued on Sunday and signed by William Falana, Secretary, Ile-Epo Market and the Iyaloja General of the market, Mrs Modupe Shonola vowed that if Ambode did not wade into the crisis, a massive calamity never witnessed in the history of markets in Lagos State might befall Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA this week.
“If the government and lovers of peace in Lagos State do not call to order the Executive Secretary of Agbado Oke-Odo, Engr. Famuyiwa and his rampaging thugs of NURTW, as led by their leader, Richard Adeyanju in their penchant to ensure that traders at Ile Epo Market know no peace, there will be crisis,” the traders said in the statement.
The crisis in the market is a tussle about revenue collection which had pitched market leaders with the Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA, with the traders insisting that the council could not use NURTW thugs to collect revenue in the market as the market is never a motor park.
The traders said it would be wise for Ambode to wade into this crisis once and for all before it becomes too late, saying that “we want the governor to among others declare whether the NURTW has the right to be operating in the market where there is no motor garage, whether any LG in the state has the right to engage NURTW thugs for any revenue drive in the market or whether traders too can collect money at any motor garage or bus stop in Lagos State.
“This, we urgently expect the governor to make known as all effort of the Iyaloja General seems not be adhered to by the police and the NURTW concerning Ile Epo Market. We hereby express gratitude to the Iyaloja General for her various efforts towards ensuring peace in Lagos Markets and Ile Epo Market, particularly and we want to assure her that the entire traders in Ile Epo have now come to realize that we need to stand up to rescue our market from lawless government agents and thugs who are bent on destroying the good image of the market in Lagos State,” the statement said.
According to them, the call on Ambode to intervene followed last week Thursday’s “daylight attack by invading thugs of NURTW, police men from Idimu and Ile- Epo Police stations where many innocent and harmless traders were shot and mercilessly macheted in the full glare of all on directive of the Executive Secretary who led the invasion.
“Trouble started when despite a court order and the directives of various stakeholders together with the instruction of the Iyaloja General, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, the Executive Secretary invaded the market in company of policemen from Idimu and Ile Epo Police Station and thugs from NURTW and started shooting at everybody.”
“Apart from those shot and macheted, all the members of the market committee together with leaders of each ethnic groups in the market were arrested and whisked away to Idimu Police Station from where they were later taken to the Magistrate Court in Ogba. Presently, Ganiyu Nosiru is in critical condition at LASUTH where the doctors are battling to save his life after he was brutally shot at close range by an inspector at Ile Epo while Dele and Shina are at a private hospital now receiving treatment for gunshots wounds and machete cuts,” the statement said.
According to the statement, “the entire leadership of this market hereby at this juncture declare that the Executive Secretary of Agbado Oke Odo is an enemy of the people and the entire traders at Ile Epo Market, as he was the one who brought Richard Adeyanju together with the police at Idimu and NURTW thugs into the market to kill and maim harmless and innocent traders.
“It was Richard Adeyanju, the leader of the NURTW thugs that was pointing the market leaders to the police. In the confusion, an inspector shot Ganiyu Nosiru at close range. The inspector ran after the boy when he discovered that he did not die but for the marketers who covered the boy with black polythene, the rampaging inspector from Ile Epo would have finished the boy in the full glare of traders on that Thursday by 2:30pm.”