by Akan Ido
The popular Kotangowa market located in Agbado Oke-Odo LGA of Lagos is facing possible demolition going by statements attributed to the state governor, Babatunde Fashola.
The market is known for the sale of second hand clothes and vehicle spare parts.
The governor gave the indication recently when he visited the market as part of plans by the government to build a Digital Village in the area.
He said the land being occupied by the traders and squatters belonged to the state government and the government was not ready to pay compensation to illegal occupants on its land.
He reportedly said people should not expect to get compensation or resettlement for encroaching on government property.
“As far as resettlement is concerned, we have always played an exemplary role. We did Isale Gangan redevelopment, we did Oluwole redevelopment and we resettled the people involved. But in cases where people are squatters, they have no rights over the property.
“The law does not protect illegality, it protects rights and you do not acquire rights by acting illegally. Human rights are legal rights; they are not rights acquired by illegal conduct and we must understand this in a democracy.
“All of the demolition we did to expand the Badagry Expressway, we are still giving compensation to the displaced people. The people that are displaced in Oshodi will soon relocate to a new market that is ready. We have intervened in Obalende without necessarily displacing the rightful owners.
“I hope that members of the public will understand that they can’t have a right to a place by jumping onto the roadside and saying it is where they must trade. May be, it may be politically popular to agitate citizens who are not aware of what their rights and obligations are.
“People escalate these things. Some people, societies or organizations make profit and get grants at the behest of the so-called masses they claim to be fighting for. The masses don’t have the right to break the law and if they do, we will enforce it,” he concluded.
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