Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday said there would be no going back on the eviction notice issued to the traders at Apongbon Bridge following last weeks’s fire incident.
The governor spoke to journalists during an inspection of the bridge that the seven-day notice would end on Wednesday and traders in the area are expected to have evacuated their goods.
Last Wednesday, a fire erupted around 2 a.m. under the Apongbon bridge. The fire lasted for hours leading to the destruction of the market underneath the bridge.
“This is a clear testimony of how public assets should not be turned to. And so, we have given seven days notice and I want to reiterate that it is still on,” he said.
“So, Wednesday is the deadline.”
The governor said that trading activities should be done in a ” proper market,” or places designated for it.
However, he said he will work with the special adviser for CBD, local government chairmen and trader representatives to make provisions for another location for the traders affected by the fire incident.
“And we will see how we will bring forward representatives of the traders, we can both identify well, we can reallocate or relocate them very quickly,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
“There are some things that we are going to do to ensure that they do not miss their source of livelihood. But to go back to how it has been done, that means that we are being reckless.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu said the area will be assessed by structural engineers after an “extensive clearing,” adding that “I cannot begin to speculate how long it is going to take and what form the rehabilitation is going to take. That is for the experts to say.”
He said that between last year and now there have been eight fire incidents “in our bridges.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu said his government will bring normalcy to the area and especially to motorists plying the route.
The governor said there will be “enough” road signals for motorists to access Lagos Island.
“Let me reiterate, for the traders, I have seen all their signposts, it is unfortunate they refused to take care of public assets and all of the things that were happening under this bridge is totally unacceptable,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
During the governor’s inspection, traders carried different placards pleading not to be “chased away.”
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