The leadership of Alaba International Market, Lagos, on Thursday, October 20, 2022 confirmed that three people were killed, while 28 others were injured in the violent clash that erupted between traders and tax collectors.
Justifying the shutting down of the market, the Chairman of Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association, Chief Amajuoyi
Camilus, said the injured victims were also hospitalised in a facility at Ojo, Lagos.
Camilus, who confirmed the figure, while briefing newsmen in the association’s office, on Thursday, 20 October, 2022 said the Agberos came to the market in large numbers with guns, cutlasses, cudgels and other dangerous weapons, shooting, killing and maiming both buyers, traders and all those who were doing their legitimate business.
According to him, the need to protect life and property informed their decision to shut down the market.
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Camilus appealed to the executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and other law-abiding citizens to intervene before the matter degenerates into a serious security issue beyond control.
“The extreme extortion going on, especially between Volkswagen bus stop and Alaba market is becoming so unbearable as traders are made to pay for a fully cleared container or a truck a whooping sum of N70,000 to N100,000 before they can be allowed to convey their goods to the market; it is the same for those supplying goods from their warehouses.
“For traders who cannot afford or who hesitate to pay are either beaten up or injured. Sadly enough, only yesterday ( Wednesday), we woke up to the information that a new loading point was to be instituted on the already constricted Alaba road, which has already been taken over by petty traders who were given portions to display wares to the detriment of existing shop owners, also completely defacing this market of international repute.
“To ensure this issue was handled amicably, the Alaba amalgamated leaders quickly contacted the executive chairman of Ojo Local Government who promised to call them to order, we also contacted the interim caretaker committee chairman who also promised to call them to order but surprisingly on Tuesday, October 19, 2022 we were greeted with chaos in our market as hoodlums that we cannot quantify trooped into the market with guns, machete, and other dangerous weapons; shooting and maiming both buyers and traders who are doing their legitimate business to the extent that some were killed and several other wounded.
“To this end, we want to say enough is enough! The Alaba international market traders association has decided to shut down the entire market till further notice to avoid further loss of people’s lives and property and will remain shut till further notice.
“We want these criminals to be arrested and brought to justice and the removal of all kiosks/petty traders, causing blockade along Alaba International market road.”
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“We also demand that all toll collection points will be at Volkswagen and Chemists Bus stops and the reduction in outrageous fees collected from containers, trucks, and other vehicles.”