Armed soldiers and policemen have been drafted to the popular Ladipo Market, Mushin Lagos, southwest Nigeria following the tension generated by the appointment of Baba Oloja for the market.
MESA patrol vehicle surrounded by traders and security personnel at Ladipo market this morning
Some of the traders, mostly Igbo, have refused to recognise the new Baba Oloja as the leader of the market.
A combined force of armed soldiers and mobile policemen were seen at the market this morning at strategic points to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
Many of the traders interviewed on the presence of the security agents said they did not know the reason for the deployment of the security men.
The presence of the security agents prevented most of the traders who had gone to the market for the weekly sanitation exercise from performing the exercise.
Their shops were locked while they stood on the road discussing the latest development.
Speaking on the deployment of security personnel to the market, the President-General of Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee, LACEC, Mr. Ikechukwu Animalu confirmed that the men were brought to the market by the new Baba Oloja, Alhaji Oki, to take control of the market.
He said he got information yesterday that Oki had mobilised soldiers, policemen and members of OPC to take over the market.
He disclosed that he immediately alerted the Area ‘D’ Commander, Mushin and the state command of the development, adding that the matter was being investigated.
Animalu said he advised the traders to remain calm when he was told this morning that armed security personnel had been deployed to the market.
He reiterated the stand of the traders not to recognise the new Baba Oloja. “We will not recognise him. If he wants to lead the market, he should wait for my tenure to expire and then contest for the leadership of the market,” he stated.
Operatives of OP-MESA were seen in their vehicle with registration number DD 47 KTU positioned in front of the Warehouse A.
Also seen in the market were about 15 pick up vans with armed mobile policemen. Operatives of SARS were also on ground. Most of the traders were yet to open their shops as at the time of filing this report.