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Rainfall: Lagos Govt Urges Residents Not To Panic

Lagos State Government, weekend, urged residents not to panic as the rainy season began, assuring that any flash flood recorded during any rainfall, would be temporary as the government had done what was needed to ensure the flood did not last.

This came as it urged residents residing on low line areas to relocate when the intensity of the rains became severe, as the state would not want any resident to lose his or her life or property to flood during the rainy period.

Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, spoke while monitoring the mid rain cleaning programme in Lagos Island, Mainland and Victoria Island executed by the drainage maintenance office and emergency flood abatement arms of the Ministry during weekend’s rainfall.

According to Bello, any flood seen would disappear as soon as the rain stopped, because the ministry had cleaned and dredged primary and secondary channels across the state ahead of this year’s rainy season.He said government would sustain its maintenance and cleaning programmes to ensure that major canals and channels were kept clean to allow free flow and discharge of water whenever it rained.

The commissioner, however, advised residents residing along the coast lines, Lagoons, low line areas like Kuramo Beach, Alpha Beach, Okun Mapo, Owode Elede, Ikorodu, Badia, Ijora, Ajegunle and other areas to relocate when the intensity of the rain became severe.

He said the warning became necessary following predictions by meteorologists that more rains were likely to be recorded this year and as a responsible and proactive government, the Ministry of the Environment had put in place measures to contain whatever flash flood was recorded.

The commissioner explained that Lagos as a coastal state, was susceptible to flash flood anytime it rained, saying “however, what is of utmost importance to this administration is to ensure that, whatever flash flood experienced is effectively discharged into our channels that have been dredged and cleaned, in anticipation of this year’s rain.”

He urged residents to ensure that waste generated were properly disposed through the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA and accredited PSP operators.

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Lamentations as security operatives demolish Lagos market

No fewer than 5,000 people may have been rendered jobless and goods estimated at N2bn destroyed when government officials led by policemen and military personnel pulled down Alakoro Market in Apongbon, Lagos on Monday.

Alakoro is a major market that promotes Nigerian-made products and boasts of patronage from South Africa, Ghana, Mali and others.

It was gathered that some traders, who allegedly tried to stop the security operatives from carrying out the demolition were beaten.

It was also learnt injured traders were taken to a  nearby hospital.

President of the Amalgamated Shoes and Bags Sellers Association, Mr. Wilfred Orjiako, said the market was duly registered and had recently paid for its 2013 land use.

He said the seven-day notice they received to vacate the market was curious.

Orjiako said, “On March 26, 2013 we saw some men from the Federal Ministry of Works and they started pasting posters that we should quit within seven days.

“We went to the controller to report the matter, but we did not see him.

“We further wrote the Area Commander A, Panti Station and the Assistant Inspector General that they should intervene in the matter, but we got no reply

“On Friday we saw policemen and bulldozers coming to pull down our market, but we resisted them, so they left us.

“On Monday, this week, about 200 armed policemen came and started shooting sporadically, wounding some of the people in the market in the process.”

Orjiako said one Dapo Balogun led the group that carried out the order that was allegedly given by the FMW. Some documents made available to our correspondent revealed the market paid an annual licence fee of N257,400 and had recently paid the 2013 dues to the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development.

The association also has a matter in court over the land which is being handled by the Falana and Falana’s Chambers.

PUNCH Metro spoke with some of the traders who were seen picking some of their goods from the rubble.

Okadigbo Austin, a 31-year-old shoe dealer said he saw the demolition as an ethnic issue.

He said, “We can do more than what Henry Okah did. If they eventually succeed in removing us from here, we will do worse. We can wreak havoc, like break this bridge. I will personally carry arms and I know where to get it.”

Balogun Habeeb, an undergraduate of Business Administration of the Lagos City Polytechnic, said he makes shoes which he also sells in the market to raise his tuition.

He said, “I am a student, and this is where I get money to sponsor myself. I make footwear that I sell to people in this market. With this demolition, it is like government wants to ruin my life. Where do they want me to get money to pay for an HND which I am about to do now. This is the next phase of my life and I am just helpless.”

A trader, who identified herself as Iya Bendel, told our correspondent that her husband became hypertensive on hearing the news of demolition.

“This is where I get money to pay my children’s school fees. What do they want me to do now?”she asked.

Another trader, Ganiyat, said she had no idea of the invasion until the security operatives descended heavily on her and pulled down her shops.

She said, “They started beating me up.  I was rolling on the floor and they were hitting me. I have no where to turn to now. And I bought my goods on credit. I lost goods worth N6m.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said she was not aware of the demolition.

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Traders in Lagos count losses after downpour

Some traders in the various markets in Lagos sustained financial losses following a downpour which began in the morning.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the downpour, which stretched into the afternoon hours, left many parts of the city and markets flooded.

NAN correspondents, who visited some markets, reported that many stalls were submerged by water, a situation which made it impossible for the traders and customers to transact businesses.

At the Apongbon, Idumota, Oyingbo and Mushin markets, the situation was the same.

 Traders spent most of the morning salvaging their wares, while only few customers could brave the flood to make purchases.

General Secretary, Mushin Market Association, Mr. Olusegun Johnson, said the flood made it impossible for him to display his books and other stationery items for sale.

  “I used nylon (polythene) to cover the little ones on display, but it is difficult for people to see what I am selling,” Johnson said.

Chairman of Perishable Foods in Oyingbo Market, Mr Charles Umeh, said the downpour and the ensuing flood deprived them of their usual early morning sales.

  “I could not come to the market as early as possible today because of the downpour that started in the morning,” Umeh said.

A tomato seller in the same market, Mrs Titi Carew, said the traders would naturally record low sales because of the large scale flooding in the area.

 “Customers are at home because they can’t come out of their flooded houses to buy things in the market,” Carew said.

A trader at Idumota, Mr. Lukman Lawal, said the flood made the markets inaccessible.

 “Idumota road is very bad; vehicles can hardly pass through the road whenever it rains,” he said..

Manager of God’s Favour Daily Contributory Scheme in one of the markets, Mr. John Obinna, said the downpour would cause setbacks to traders’ projected daily savings.

 “The traders are complaining of low sales and most of them did not come to the market,” Obinna said.

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(PHOTOS): Three Nigerian Men Caught With Box Of Fake US Dollars In Lagos

The police at Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, Lagos have arrested three suspected  fraudsters who dupe unsuspecting members of the public using fake dollars and a fake Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, certificate.

The suspects, Olasende Akinsiku, 40, Abiodun Akiniyi, 35, and Tajudeen Lasisi, 40, (pictured above) were arrested following a complaint by a retired Major General to Abba Kyari, the officer in charge of SARS, that he was swindled by the arrested suspects.

Akinsiku, who hails from Ondo state, said their victims that they stole the dollars from their place of work and wanted to convert it into naira  at a cheap rate so that the victims will not suspect that the dollar notes were fake.

The graphic artist explained further that he was introduced into the crime by his friend, Abiodun alias Tokunbo Babatunde, the owner of the machine they use to print the fake dollars.
On how they were arrested, Akinsiku said it was when he went to meet the General at Women Development Centre, Agege, to collect another N40,000 with Abiodun that they were arrested by officers from SARS.

The Ewe, Oyo state-born Akiniyi in his confession said Ajibola Ajimson whom he referred to as his mentor introduced him to the  General  in 2010 and he met the General in  Abuja at that time where the general concluded arrangement to come back to Lagos to transport the consignment with bullion van to Abuja.
In order to make the dollars which were neatly packed in a small steel box look real, the group forged a  CBN certificate which has the inscription ‘Vol: $2.5 million’,  ‘domination’ — mixed, Grade A. One, and ‘consignee’ the name of the retired general.

Abiodun also forged a CBN identity card bearing the name Tunde Bakare (Mr.) with No.011 While confirming the story, the Lagos state Police image maker, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendend of Police, said the suspect, will be arraigned  as soon as investigation is concluded and warns youths to shun criminal acts.

The Lagos state police boss, Mr. Umar Manko, also promised criminals in the state  hell if they did not stop their criminal acts.

(Source: PM News)

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