Thursday, 12 December 2013
PhotoNews: Traders at Burnt Ketu Plank Market Begin Immediate Reconstruction of Market; Reject Government Offer to Level Devastated Area
Traders at the Ketu Ifelodun Plank market, which burned to the ground yesterday, have begun reconstruction barely 15 hours after the incident.
The plank dealers indicated today that they wanted to avert the likelihood of an undesirable Lagos State Government intervention.
During the visit by officials of the government this afternoon, the dealers said they suspect the government secretly wants to take the market from them. One of them said that a former a former Chairman of the Agboyi Ketu Local Government, Mrs. Yetunde Ariobieke, had tried hard to take over the market following a similar fire incident some years back, but had failed.
Describing yesterday’s fire as ‘strange’ and ‘suspicious,’ the affected dealers prayed that the fresh move by the government similarly fails.
The visiting officials, who included the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Wale Ahmed, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mrs. Odebunmi Dominga, were shunned by the traders as they tried to explain that the state government’s only intention was to clear the burnt land.
Even as Mr. Ahmed tried to assure that trading activities would resume as soon as possible, he was ignored by the traders, who said they have no trust for the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola whom the officials were representing.
The plank dealers cited the examples of Tejuosho Market in Yaba which was taken over by the State Government after it suffered a similar fire outbreak.
Yesterday’s blaze began at about 8pm Nigerian time. As of the time of filing this report, affected plank dealers were still scooping water from a nearby drainage to quell the fire in individual shops, ignoring the Fire Service operators and rebuilding their stands.