Lagos – Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has agreed to suspend further demolition of buildings at Alaba International market, Lagos.

This was sequel to a request to that effect by the Imo State Governor and Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma on Friday, when he led a delegation of Igbo leaders in the State to a meeting with Sanwo-Olu at Lagos House, Marina, Lagos.

Members of the Igbo delegation to the meeting include:

  1. Governor Hope Uzodinma, Chairman of South East Gov’s Forum and Imo State Gov.
  2. Rt. Hon. Ben Kalu, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives.
  3. Rt. Gen. Umahi; President of Ndi Igbo Lagos.
  4. President of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Lagos: Chief Sunday Osahi
  5. President of Igboamaka (All Market Unions in Lagos) Comrade Chinedu Ukatu
  6. Chief Sir Tony Chukwu: Prominent Igbo Leader and renowned businessman
  7. Chief Sam Ohuabunwa: Corporate guru and Boardroom titan
  8. Chief Henry Ikoh immediate past Min. of State, Ministry of Science & Technology among others.

Governor Sanwo-Olu had some Permanent Secretaries and Directors of the Lagos Civil Service with him.

Gov Sanwo-Olu opened the meeting by welcoming the delegation to Lagos House and reiterated his friendship and brotherhood with the Chairman of the South East Governor’s Forum, Progressive Governor’s Forum Chairman and the Gov. of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma.

Governor Uzodinma started the conversation by reminding the Lagos State Governor that he had previously raised his concern regarding the declining relationship between the Lagos State Government and Ndi Igbo residing in Lagos and that the purpose of the meeting is to address such concerns especially the seeming general disharmony between the government and Igbo businessmen.

Governor Uzodinma identified some issues that have been grossly mismanaged as a result of the communication gap and sought the establishment of proper channels of communication and more robust engagement with organised Igbo leadership and community as was the case in the past.

The Governor asked for a reset in the current relationship between Ndi Igbo and the State government and reiterated the need to douse the prevailing tension.

He further requested the suspension of further demolition of buildings at Alaba International Market and canvassed for the inauguration of a review committee to ensure that buildings which are not in contravention of planning regulations are not demolished.

The Governor asked his Lagos State counterpart to take steps to ensure that policies which are seemingly targeted at Igbo businesses are reviewed because perception is very powerful even if facts do not support such perceptions. Governor Uzodinma concluded by seeking solid
solidarity for President Tinubu’s administration so that the country would benefit from his wealth of experiences.

The Lagos State Governor Jide Sanwo-Olu responded by stating that he heard about the demolition of buildings at Alaba Market from the news channels like every other person. He said he called the officers in charge and asked them not to be overzealous but to be fair and just in their actions. He promised to temporarily suspend the demolition and to set up a review committee as requested to look into the complaints and other grey areas.

He enumerated the efforts of the Lagos State government in developing the Ojo corridor to boost trade and commerce and stated that his government has never been run based on ethnicity or any form of bias.
He promised to engage more with the Igbo community and reminded the delegation that he has never declined any invitation to attend events by the Igbo Market Associations in Lagos.
He said that sometimes, emotions could run high, especially during elections but what is in the past should best be left behind.
He assured the delegation that all issues raised would be addressed and resolved and that Lagos would continue to be a home for all Nigerians and that government would always strive to create a conducive environment to enable businesses to thrive and to ensure that Lagos residents live in peace and harmony and have opportunities to prosper.
He concluded by saying that it is a thing of joy to have brothers and neighbours sit down to resolve misconceptions and agree to live in peace.
The meeting ended with a press conference by the Governors and a photo session.

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