Traders at the Akere Spare Parts Market, located in the Ajeromi Ifelodun area of Lagos, who woke up to a devastating sight as the market was engulfed in flames have called for a proper investigation into the incident.

The traders who made the call in an interview with newsmen, suspect foul play, suggesting that politically sponsored thugs may be responsible for the incident while calling for proper investigation.

The market, which is predominantly occupied by Igbo traders, suffered extensive damage in the fire while the cause of the fire is yet to be officially determined.

Although the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had donated the sum of N100 million compensation to the traders, stressing that there is no room for politics to divide the residents, many of the shop owners are far from recovering from the shock.

Mr. Chibuike Ihedi, a businessman in Akere Spare Parts Market where he deals on motto spare parts, said his life had been threatened, adding that he narrowly escaped death recently.

Ihedi said a threat to his life started a few months ago because of the part he played in sensitizing other shop owners about Peter Obi being the best Presidential candidate among the three main candidates contesting in the Presidential Election that took place on Feb 25th, 2023.

“They have placed a bounty on my head because of my obvious sympathy towards the course of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), whilst harassing members of my family with impunity. The injustice suffered by Igbos in this nation cannot be overlooked, that’s why I believe we need a president who understands the plight of this persecuted tribe.”

“These thugs believe that I was part of the reason they (APC) lost the election in that part of Lagos State and I was at the forefront of the Labour Party’s campaign in Ajegunle.”

“I was quite popular not only among my fellow shop owners in Akere Spare Parts market but also among the people of that community where I was born and raised,” Ihedi said.

He further disclosed that ever since he returned from Eastern part of the country, they have been monitoring his movements and had even made an attempt to kill him.

He said he would have been killed if he were around at the time of the attack on the market but got lucky, he travelled a day before the election, noting that a big gash at his back will continue to remind him of the brutal attack he suffered in October 2022 before he managed to escape the country.

Another trader, Mr. Moses Njoku, said he lost items worths N10m to the inferno while another trader, Michael Akpan, said he lost items worth N5.8m.

Also speaking, a trader, Mr. Igweshi, said: “It is getting too much. It is unfortunate that these attacks seem to be targeted at Igbo people’s businesses. Politically motivated attack is killing the economy.”

“I lost goods worth about N20 million. If they want us to go, they should allow us to go because this is not the first time they’re coming to this place.”

The traders further revealed that immediately after the announcement of the presidential election result some thugs tried to set fire to the market but were chased out by security guards. They however regrouped and the damaging result is what is being witnessed by the whole nation.

By Editor

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