Shop owners, traders lament as Kuje Council demolishes structures



Some traders and shop owners at the popular Wowo Motor Park in Kuje Area Council, FCT on Friday lamented the demolition of their shops by the Area Council Administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 80 shops were demolished to reconstruct the motor park for easy vehicular movement in the area.

Mr Emeka Okafor, spare parts seller in the park, told NAN that shop owners were given notice but with no specific time which made them assumed the demolition would come much later in the year.

“The notice was too short. Although we were duly informed but we never knew it would be this early.

“You know it’s being very difficult for everybody in the country because of the COVID-19 lockdown from the beginning of the year.

“There was a meeting held this year with regard to this exercise, but the notice was too short for all shop owners in this park,” he said.

Mr Shegun Adeyemi, another shop owner, told NAN that there was a court order stopping the council to continue the demolition but that it was ignored.

Adeyemi expressed grief that there was no adequate notice before the demolition was carried out, adding that the matter would be revisited in a competent court of jurisdiction.

“We agreed with the authorities to allow us provide a workable solution that will ease the difficulties for the shop owners in the park before demolition.

“We had discussed a workable plan for the demolition to take place in batches only to wake up this morning and see bulldozers demolishing our shops without adequate notice,” he said.

Reacting, Mohammed Goguwa, the Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Kuje Chapter, said the demolition had the approval of both the shop owners, Transport Union and the Area Council.

He said the plan was to demolish and reconstruct the motor park, adding that every shop owner had been duly compensated before the exercise.

The Chairman of Kuje Area Council, FCT, Abdullahi Sabo, who corroborated the claims of Goguwa, said the aim of demolition was to modernise the popular Wowo Motor Park.

Sabo said that the demolition was to easy vehicular movement in the area and also to enhance the council’s Internally Revenue Generation (IGR).

He said the Kuje Motor Park project would be handled by competent contractors that had been chosen through a transparent process.

He noted that the modernisation of the motor park would also enhance quality services to passengers and motorists, as well as create employment opportunities and revenue generation for the council.

“’The area council has agreed to modernise the parks, especially the popular `Wowo Motor Park’ to a modern standard so that the union will have a befitting park.

“’The modernisation will increase both the council and the union’s revenue.

“Competent contractors will handle the project and affected shop owners in the park have been adequately considered,” he said. 

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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