In spite of a court injunction asking the Oyo state government not to demolish structures at the popular Ile Eja area, Oja’ba in Ibadan, traders were shocked on Friday when they found their structures demolished and wares displaced.
According to a report by Nigerian Tribune, the demolition of the market was carried out by the Ibadan South West Local Government and lasted three hours.
It said officers of Operation Burst besieged the area with Hilux vans, marked OBO4 and OBO7 around 7 a.m. on Friday and were led to the area by officials of the local government to supervise the demolition of the structures.
The head of Oja’Ba family, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, whose family owned the land on which the structures were built, said that the chairman of Ibadan South West Local Government, Taoheed Adeleke, visited the area a year ago with the view that he wanted to construct a public toilet and an office complex.
Condemning the move, Alhaji Akanbi said “when he came here a year ago and said he would like to construct a public toilet and an office complex, we objected. We told him that we already had an approved plan since 2004 from the government and we won’t change the master plan.
“We headed for court because the ministry insisted on demolishing our structure. The court ruled that the Ministry of Environment should not demolish our existing structure. We actually thought that was all until we saw another notice from the Ministry on the 13th of December that we should vacate the area despite court’s ruling that we should be allowed to continue the building of the existing plan.”
One of the shop owners, Mrs Adeyemi Jimoh said it was such a sad development that the state government needs to look into.
She said: “We were not even allowed to pick anything from the shop. We were allowed to watch helplessly as our shops were pulled down by the bulldozer and our wares scattered over the place.”