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Lagos: Lawmakers Seek Relocation of Mile 12 Market

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The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday called for the relocation of Mile 12 Market on Ikorodu Road to a more conducive place.

The call came just as the police denied being partisan in the violence which rocked the market last Thursday.

Reacting to the incident, the Assembly described it as unfortunate, adding that it could have been avoided.

The issue was brought under matter of urgent public importance by Jude Idimogu.

The lawmakers implored Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to relocate Mile 12 and Owode-Onirin Markets elsewhere after feasibility studies and accompanying infrastructure must have been provided.

While commiserating with the bereaved families, the Assembly condemned the killings and the attitude of soldiers deployed in the market, who could not prevent the crisis.

It urged Ambode to constitute a high-powered enquiry into the skirmish.

Earlier, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said the incident followed disagreement among brothers, adding that government should act decisively on the issue.

He said: “Soldiers have been stationed at the market since 1999, yet they have not been able to solve the problem. There is a police station there, what did the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) do, when the incident occurred?

“It is a market without structure; we can move the market to another place if we can provide an alternative. We should look at a new planning; we cannot have such a market at the centre of a megacity.”

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Obasa called for the probe of military men stationed at the market since they could not forestall the riot. He suggested that Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) be installed there.

Deputy Speaker Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun said the market was not well organised, adding that a visit there would reveal that it is not a conventional market.

Denying allegations of partisanship, Lagos police chief Fatai Owoseni told reporters at the command Headquarters in Ikeja that the claims were fabricated and cheap blackmail.

Owoseni said he and not the Area Commander or the Divisional Police Officer for Ketu led the operation, adding that his men did their job without sentiments.

He also pegged the number of those arrested at 174, adding that investigations were ongoing to ascertain their culpability.

“Mile 12 is relatively calm and the process of healing has commenced in terms of dialogue. 174 suspects were arrested and at the moment investigations and auditing are ongoing.

“It was miscreants that were involved in that fight and not normal Yoruba or Hausa. Even when the fight was on, some Hausa hid Yoruba children in their shops, likewise some Yoruba hid Hausa people in their homes.

“All those trying to play on ethnic or religious sentiments are using cheap blackmail. It is mere fabrication that police or security agencies took sides in that fight. We did our job there devoid of sentiments,” he said.

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