Shops Locked As Crisis Erupt In Alaba Market

Shops Locked As Crisis Erupt In Alaba Market

Crisis reared its ugly head last week at the Alaba International Market in Lagos State when two traders and market stakeholders, Peter Ofoma and Eselu Chukwudi, were brutally attacked over  lingering leadership crisis in the market.

This came months after a leadership struggle at the Fancy and Furniture section led to a bloodbath.

The fragile peace which has hitherto existed was shattered last week when  some members of an opposing faction were attacked and their shops locked arbitrarily by the union.

Last November, after the intervention of the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army, the Chief Emeka Mazoba-led executive of the Amalgamated Traders’ Union, during its inauguration, had promised to reconcile all warring factions and give peace a chance.

Ofoma, who is still receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital after regaining his consciousness on Monday, said:

 “Before I went into coma, the last thing I heard was an instruction given to the thugs to get rid of me. I didn’t know my offence. I only remembered that at the last exco meeting, where the chairman decided to increase monthly security levy of traders from N1,200 to N1,700, I had opposed it because of the hard times many people are facing due to the forex issue and recession and the many other levies collected by the leadership.”

A police source at the Ojo Police Station confirmed the incident, adding that investigations are ongoing into the crisis.

Attempts by The Guardian to get the leadership’s reaction were not successful, as union executives refused commenting on the issue.

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