The Lagos State government has denied any involvement in the demolition of Berger retail market in Ojodu area of the state. It said media reports linking it to the exercise were untrue and unconfirmed reports.
Over 800 shops in the retail market were demolished on Wednesday, with most of the traders saying they were not served notice to quit. Some of the shop owners had stormed the state House of Assembly to protest against the plan to demolish the market, saying they were given only one day notice before the demolition took place.
Mr. Wasiu Anifowose, Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, in a statement on Friday stressed that the state government knew nothing about the demolition.
The statement quoted him as saying, “As a state government, we like to categorically deny involvement in the demolition exercise as alleged in some national dailies. While the reports in one breath claimed that the state government was responsible for the demolition, it was also said that it was in compliance with a court judgment.
“The same report also alleged that an unnamed former Governor was behind the exercise, while still claiming that the land on which the retail market was located had been under global acquisition for years.
“Our story is that some of the market women came to my office yesterday saying that their market was being demolished, and after finding out from relevant agencies because I have not given any directive on demolition and having confirmed that our agencies were not involved, I told the market people that the demolition never came from us.”