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Ketu Plank Market Fire: Community Resists Lagos Government Attempt to Demolish Mosque

The Ifelodun community in Ketu earlier today resisted efforts by men of Agoyi Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to demolish a mosque situated near the burnt market. Before today’s physical protest their past efforts have included petitions, protests, lawsuits and lately, physical resistance.
The Local Government had notified the occupants of buildings, mainly a mosque and some shops facing the street beside it to quit for a development work on the razed market. The market was gutted by fire in 2013. Because of the nature of inflammable wooden materials mainly stocked in the market, the fire which started overnight in March last year razed the entire market leading to huge losses to businessmen in the market and surrounding areas affected by the fire.
Some affected women in the market had accused the government of deliberately setting fire on the market in other to take it over. They said the Local Government, under a former chairman, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke had tried hard to displace occupants in the market before the strange fire hit last year. The community alleged that the Lagos state government is the main mastermind of the fire, which they said was part of last ditch effort to create an excuse for taking over the market from its rightful owners.
The Lagos State government denied the allegation. However, community leaders said the state government had promised last week to reach out with compensatios to the affected store owners affected by the fire. However, they said their fears were now being confirmed by the latest threat to displace the occupants. On Friday, Muslims under the auspices of ‘Muslim Vanguard’ marched in protest to the state government secretariat in Ikeja to demand a halt on the plan to demolish the mosque. They said they had got wind of government’s plan to demolish the market “overnight”.
Clerics at the mosque told Saharareporters that a notice of stay of execution from the court was served on the government as well as developer, but that both entities deliberately ignored the court order. This Government seems to like being rude to the court process” a member at the Ifelodun Mosque said this morning. They got here as early as 6.00am today with many policemen and equipment to demolish the mosque, but we quickly mobilized and rested them”, a cleric told our correspondent. Via

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