Ondo Traders Decry Destruction Of Shops, Accuse Akeredolu Government Of Selective Demolition
Aggrieved business owners in the Alagbaka area of Akure, the Ondo State capital have decried the demolition of their shops by the state government.
The affected people said their shops were demolished between 12:15 and 1:45 am.
They accused the Rotimi Akeredolu administration of injustice and insensitivity.
They explained how the state government had earlier visited and directed them to stop selling beer in the area.
The traders noted that they had to comply with the directive issued through a "notice" from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
According to the traders, the decision of the government was hinged on the reported cases of touts using the beer parlours to commit crimes.
Many of the affected owners claimed their shops were looted.
Olawale James Ebimotiya, told SaharaReporters: "The government was here few days ago through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and instructed us to stop selling beers through the noticed they handed to us.
"They asked us to vacate the axis or we should stop the sale of beers with an immediate effect in the area, which we did.
"Initially, some of us here lease these place(s) for the purpose of selling beer and rent it to serve as a beer and drinking joints.
"But immediately, we abide by their instruction and started the new trades of car wash outlets and fashion design among the other things apart from beer."
He added, "Unfortunately, we woke up this morning to arrived for business as usual when we noticed that our stores and locked up shops have been raised down.
"All the properties including the personal belongings kept inside the stores have been destroyed by the government."
Another business owner in the area, Mrs Adekemi Adedapo, noted that the action was a complete clampdown by the government on the traders.
She said, "We saw this action as anti-people which is mostly targeted at some of us who are in the opposition party and don't like the style of this present government.
"Because, if you move closer to some buildings here, you would noticed that some of them are selling the beers unchallenged by the government.
"I will not know if it is because some of them belonged to the ruling APC party or they have their cronnies and associates in this government.
"With what I saw this morning, I can bodly tell that this is purely a selective destruction on our properties by the Akeredolu led government despite the heavy taxes and rent being collected on us occassionally."
Reacting, Rasheed Badmus, Ondo State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development claimed that the government had not violated any law by demolishing the shops.
Badmus claimed that the shop owners were issued a 'vacation notice'.
"We noticed that area is abhors all forms of criminal and it is a threat to the state capital if we are considering the present security situation of the state.
"So, we told those who have turned that place into a drinking joint to vacate that place (Alagbaka axis) by giving them a vacate notice but they refused and we have demolish the structures," he told SaharaReporters.
He, however, refused to comment on whether the Akeredolu government was selective in shops demolished.