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Trader dies after losing N50m during demolition by Lagos govt

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A 68 year old trader, Alhaja Iyabo has died following the ongoing demolition of shanties in the Alaba Rago market area of Ojo by the Lagos State Government.

Iyabo who is said to be a big dealer in rice and beans, reportedly succumbed to a heart attack after discovering that her weekend sales of over N50 million, stored in a safe in her shop, had vanished during the demolition.

The demolition which started on Sunday morning, caught many traders off guard.

Recall that the Lagos State task force had issued a removal notice to squatters and occupants of illegal structures on May 15, directing them to vacate immediately.

However, market leaders claimed that there was no prior warning about the specific timing of the demolition.

According to Dailytrust, Mallam Ibrahim Hamad Namari, head of the cow dealers at Alaba Rago market, explained that traders had stored their weekend sales in safes within the market, intending to deposit the money in banks on Monday.

“After Saturday’s sale, we kept our money in safes in our shops, intending to take it to the bank on Monday. We woke up on Sunday morning to hear about the demolition. By the time we reached the market, everything was gone. It was the shock of losing her money that led to Alhaja Iyabo’s death,” Namari said.

CSP Shola Jejeloye, who led the state taskforce, clarified that the removal notice was a follow-up to an earlier one issued on May 19, 2022. However, traders argued that the notice was vague and did not specify the start date for the demolition, leading to the confusion and unpreparedness among them.

Nushubau Ahmad, secretary of the yam dealers, estimated the total losses incurred by the traders to be as high as N50 billion. The demolition resulted in the destruction of bags of rice, beans, livestock, and other goods stored within the market.

However, the devastating financial losses and the untimely death of Alhaja Iyabo have thrown the market community into turmoil, highlighting the need for clearer communication and more considerate planning in such operations to prevent future tragedies.

 

 

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