Day Ikeja Motor Park occupants wept

Following the demolition of the New Garage Motor Park in Ikeja, members of the Ikeja branch of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), have appealed to the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to provide an alternative space for them.

They commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for his developmental agenda in Lagos, but appealed that the plight of the affected NURTW members should be considered.

The chairman of the park stated that the “forceful ejection” has paralysed their business, as they have not been able to gain access to the alternative provided by the government.

Speaking to New Telegraph, the Union Chairman, Alhaji Mudashiru Egbedire, lamented that since the demolition of the motor park, “over 4,000 commercial buses (Danfo) drivers have been roaming about without any means of livelihood.”

He explained that his union inherited the land from the former military government of Lagos State in 1997 through Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Ever since then, it has been consistent fight for the land.

“We have been fighting for this land before the demolition even took place and yet our leaders are still fighting for it. Now Over 4,000 commercial buses drivers have been at their various house thinking on what next to do.

Few days, after the Sabo market in Ikorodu, the popular Ikeja new garage witnessed yet another demolition by the Lagos State government.

When New Telegraph visited the garage, it observed that heavily armed police officers were present at the entrance, perhaps to forestall obstruction from the occupants of the place.

The demolition team went on operating bulldozers in pulling down shops outside the garage.

While the exercise was going on, the drivers wore sad faces and were going up and down grumbling.

They said they were only are given 72 hours notice before the demolition took place.

Lekan Sanni, a driver believed that the current demolition going on in the state is in line with the plan of the state government to make Lagos a mega city.

“The Lagos State government said it wants to make Lagos as a mega city.

I also believe it is part of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision to change the face of transportation in the state,” he said.

For Sanni, there was no much qualms with the demolition, “except that the government did not carry us along.

NURTW drivers were not informed about their plan not until we saw the notice on Saturday to vacate the garage within 72 hours.”

Nurudeen Balogun, a member of NURTW, said they were given 72 hours to vacate the garage because LAMATA wants to make use of the place for their workshop.

According to him, in less than the 72 hours, the Lagos State Task force drove them out of the garage.

Balogun pleaded with the government: “We have no other alternative to embark on; we have been really experiencing pains since the demolition took place, the suffering is increasing on the daily basis.

The government should please find another alternative for us.”

Shola Adetayo, also a NURTW member pleaded with the government to find other alternative space for them to continue their job saying “we have nowhere to go, we can’t choose any space for ourselves except if the government approves it.

The government should please consider us and find alternative space for us to continue our business.”

Muinat Alao, a passer-by said the Lagos State governor is really trying his best to make Lagos a mega city.

“But the question is, how many people does he want to inflict with pains? How many does he want to send to their early grave?

How many of us does he wants to send out of Lagos?

Nobody stopped him from doing his work but he should have considered providing alternative means for the ordinary ones like us,” she said.

Adebusoye Micheal, the Union secretary felt that the Ministry of Transportation betrayed them.

“The Ministry of Transportation failed with their promise. After we saw the evacuation notice, we went to the Ministry of Transportation on what next to do.

They said they will give us some space pending the time but yet we are yet to hear from them,” he said.

Micheal believed that the Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) are the real cause of the demolition.

“The LAMATA are trying their possible best to have most of the garage. We tried our best to stop it because this is the only new garage in Ikeja.

We asked them to go for the space at the back of Access plaza- of more than 9 hectares of land, yet it is our garage that enters their eyes.”

For Michael, the government is wielding its power negatively and mightily over them especially when it has to do with issues like theirs and without being carried along.

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