1st July, 2011
Following the bombing of Police Headquarters in Abuja on 16 June by Boko Haram, police authorities have ordered the demolition of about 30 shops and stalls across police formations in Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
P.M.NEWS witnessed the demolition exercise Thursday afternoon at the Oduduwa Police Public Relations Office in Ikeja at about 3p.m.
It was carried out by officers from the Police Provost Office at the state Police Command.
They arrived Oduduwa in a Green Volkswagen bus with registration number PS 889 AAA and began to demolish the shops, some residential houses and makeshift stalls in the area.
Led by Uhuru Ewah, the police provost, the officers demolished business centre owned by a light complexioned Yoruba lady, whose husband is said to be very close to Mike Okiro, the former inspector-general of police.
The food canteens, paraga joints, provision shops and stalls owned by wives ofÂ some police officers resident in the area were also demolished.
Through Samuel Jinadu, Lagos police spokesman was on courtesy visit to the NavalÂ Base with Yakubu Alkali, when the incident occurred, police sources told ourÂ reporter that the officers from the provost office were acting on order from police headquarters in Abuja.
According to our sources, Hafiz Ringim, the inspector-general of police obviously embarrassed and rattled by the daring manner Boko Haram attempted to bomb the police headquarters recently handed down the order to all policeÂ formations to remove illegal shops, kiosks, stalls and eject civilians from police barracks.
But, some traders and shop owners at Oduduwa Police office, who spoke yesterday with our reporter lamented that though they are regarded as illegal shop owners, doing illegal business at police barracks and stations, some of them were brought to the place by very senior police officers.
Wife of a police inspector selling alcohol, paraga and soft drinks in Oduduwa lamented that with the demolition of her shop, she will lose a lot of customers and may be in penury, even as police authorities insist that these shops, stallsÂ and joints could serve as hideouts for members of the Boko Haram sect, who may sneak into Lagos to wreak havoc.
The lady, who begged not to be named, said that though customers come in to drink or eat, they (the traders) have become extra vigilant since the Boko Haram madness started in the north.
Contacted this morning, Samuel Jinadu, Lagos police spokesman said he was not around when the demolition took place.
“I only came back from the courtesy visit toÂ the Naval Base with the CP to hear about it,” he said, assuring that the matter will be properly handled.
By Emmanuel Udom