Let’s talk about the controversies surrounding Agbowo Shopping Complex in Ibadan
I’ve reported about the controversies surrounding the fate of the Agbowo Shopping Complex extensively. But today, shoppers who used to be in the complex decided to protest in its premises over the non-appearance of the contractor which the government said would repair and upgrade the facility.
Let me take you down memory lane just a lil with Agbowo Shopping Complex. On March 20, 2012, Oyo state government released a statement to explain why it was rehabilitating the Agbowo Shopping Complex. According to a release signed by the Special Adviser on Media to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Festus Adedayo, set up a committee headed by the Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. Ajiboye Omodewu, which returned a damning verdict on the state of infrastructure in the complex.
According to that statement, the plan was to develop the complex’ high-rise building into a luxury apartment, renovate the shops to be in tune with modern trend, provide boreholes and activate the fire-fighting office within the complex that is moribund at the moment.
Almost 5 years later, nothing has been done to revive the complex. It came to my attention also last year and I wrote a piece about it in a piece where I asked that Can Ajimobi rejuvenate Agbowo Shopping Complex?
Few months ago when I spoke to government reps on the issue of Agbowo Shopping Complex, they said His Excellency was committed to revamping the facility and upgrading it to a standard mall. But since the government managed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the shoppers in the complex who were accused of not paying to use the facility nor committed towards its upgrade, no contractor had shown up.
This is the reason why the shoppers decided to take to the streets today to protest the development. They claim they are feeling the heat of the economic recession since they couldn’t go to any other place to carry out their business. They implored the state government to allow them to be using the shopping complex until the contractor is ready to start work on the facility instead of allowing it to rot away and inflicting hardships on the shoppers whose means of livelihood depend solely on proceeds of their business.
Check out the pictures taken at the protest by a citizen journalist below.