No fewer than 300 traders under the aegis of Ultra Modern Traders Association, Balogun Market, Lagos have called for the intervention of Governor Babatunde Fashola in their eviction from their plaza.
The traders on Wednesday marched to Governor’s office in Alausa, urging him to constitute a committee to resolve the crisis.
Counsel for the traders, Mr. Onu Uche, who submitted the traders’ petition, explained that the ordeal of his clients started after a court judgment led to the forced closure of the plaza.
Uche said, “Most of the traders and banks renewed their tenancies early this year with the strong belief that Lagos State Government is the original owner of the property.
“But the new owners have locked up the shops occupied by the embattled traders with their goods and wares worth millions of naira.”
Uche said the new owners’ lawyers had also directed the traders to obtain a form at the cost of N15,000 per shop, pay additional rents for two years and 10 per cent agreement as a pre-condition for the reopening of the shops.
He said while the traders were not contesting the court judgment, they did not like the manner they were forcibly ejected and not being served with a statutory notice and then a court ejection order.
He said the traders urged the governor to constitute a negotiation committee comprising government representatives, the new owners and the traders to resolve the matter amicably.
Security aides to the governor received the traders’ petition on his behalf. They explained that the Governor was not on seat.
“We strongly believe that meaningful dialogue and negotiation are the only way to the restoration of peace and normalcy in the market,” Uche said.