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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and his counterpart from Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, have met for an urgent discussion regarding the demolition of the Alaba International market. During the meeting, they explored various options to address the situation.
Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, joined the meeting held in Lagos yesterday.
In his post-meeting remarks, Sanwo-Olu expressed satisfaction with the outcome, describing the gathering as a fruitful encounter where matters of mutual concern were extensively deliberated upon.
The Lagos governor said, ‘The meeting had gone on very successfully, where we discussed issues around a common interest, and especially issues around the demolition of Alaba market.’
‘There has been a lot of wrong information and communication. Our conversation this afternoon has cleared the air and we have seen the need for further collaboration and where wrongs have been expressed we corrected.’
The demolition of dilapidated structures in the Alaba International Market, situated in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, was set in motion a few weeks ago.
The joint operation was carried out by the enforcement team of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Task Force.
The demolition sparked strong criticism from the affected traders and certain Igbo organizations, as they claimed to be targeted due to the political maneuverings surrounding the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
The objection from the affected traders and Igbo groups escalated tensions between the Yoruba and Igbo communities, leading to concerns about ethnic discord.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Governor Sanwo-Olu and Governor Uzodinma took immediate action to address the growing Yoruba-Igbo divide.
The governors issued a joint statement emphasising the need for unity and understanding among all ethnic groups in Nigeria. They noted that the demolition of the Alaba International Market was not targeted at any particular ethnic group but was solely based on the need to ensure public safety and address the deteriorated state of the buildings.