The socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called upon President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the ongoing demolition of the Alaba International Market in Lagos State.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo appealed to Tinubu to use his influence to request Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to balance justice with mercy towards the Igbo community in the state.
The Lagos State Government initiated demolishing distressed buildings in the Alaba International Market, located in the Ojo Local Government area of the state.
The joint operation involved the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) enforcement team and the Lagos State Task Force, who re-sealed multiple buildings marked with quit seal notices to prevent potential disasters.
In response, the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, cautioned Igbos in Lagos State against engaging in unfavorable politics that could adversely impact Igbo businesses in the area.
Isiguzoro said: “We have been informed that the demolition of some parts of Alaba International Market has began; most of those who called us said they were given only three hours.
“Most of them complained that they are being witch-hunted due to the 2023 general elections; they complained that they are systematically trying to make them leave Lagos by destroying their properties.
“We want to beg Mr. President to call Sanwo-Olu that the best thing to do at this point is to temper justice with mercy. We would not accept that this is a political witch-hunt or issue threats on the crisis that has befallen Igbos in Lagos.
“At this moment in time, Igbos should stop politics and concentrate on what they are looking for in Lagos.
“Ohanaeze has already told Igbos to relocate the headquarters of their businesses back home to have a fallback position when politics are targetted against them.
“Our Republicanism should end in the Southeast; they should not take it to Lagos. Some people threatened the Igbos to leave Lagos, but we won’t leave any part of Nigeria for anybody because we have contributed to the development and building of economies with every state and local government in Nigeria.
“Igbos are Nigerians, so Ohanaeze is saying that the demolition of Alaba International Market is a wake-up call for Ndigbos to come and invest in Eyimba economic city.
“Ndigbos should stay in Lagos, but they should stop playing bad politics because it’s affecting their businesses.
“We supported Sanwo-Olu during the elections, even when Tinubu lost Lagos, so we urge him to halt further demolition of Alaba and other Igbo-populated markets as this would make Igbos to continue supporting Asiwaju’s government and make him to succeed.”