No fewer than 120 traders, operating at a plaza in Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos state have reportedly accused wife of the Inspector-General of Police, Fatima Adamu, of attempting to take over their shops.
The traders stormed the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) owned facility, saying Mrs. Adamu wanted to destroy their source of livelihood.
Meanwhile, a source quoted in the report and said to be close to the IGP’s wife said Mrs. Adamu was not aware of the happenings going on in the market.
According to the source, a senior police officer’s wife has been using the name of the IGPs wife to carry out illegal eviction of the traders.
The woman is alleged to be colluding with a land developer to achieve her aim. The traders, who protested on Friday, October 25, said that the demolition would bring untold hardship on them and their family members.
They urged the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to look into their plight and plead with his wife on their behalf.
Speaking at the protest, the chairman of POWA Plaza 2, Ebechukwu Enekwe, said they were uncomfortable with the planned demolition, stressing that nobody was sure of ever getting his or her shop back.
“Many of us are still servicing bank loans which we took to pump into our business. If we’re displaced, we don’t know what would become of our wives, family members, and children. Some of us have dependents,” he said.
A former vice president of the plaza, Mr. Mark Eze, added: “We’re appealing to the Nigeria Police Force and Lagos state government to come to our aid.
They should help us to stop this demolition plan. Our lives and the future of our children are being threatened.”
The Lagos state chairperson of the association, Mrs. Sarah Ajani, claimed that several meetings have been held had regarding the upgrading of the plaza.
She explained that the disagreement started when the occupants were given a letter of eviction in July to vacate the premises for reconstruction in September which was later shifted to December following pleas.
She said the action of POWA was due to a directive of the Lagos state ministry of environment for the facility to be upgraded or be demolished.
“The national president of POWA, Mrs. Fatima Adamu, had earlier signed a letter indicating that traders with genuine allocation documents from POWA in the old structure shall be reapportioned shops by POWA from the shops accrued to it when the new structure is fully completed.
“The same number of shops demolished shall be reapportioned to the original tenants upon completion of the new structure. The purpose is to create an ultramodern plaza with better facilities and create more shops that would accommodate more officers,” she added.