Traders under the aegis of the Association of Business Owners at the Ondo State Trade Fair Complex, Alagbaka, Akure, have called on the state government to reverse its planned demolition of their offices and shops on the premises of the complex.
It was gathered that the government had earlier served the concerned traders a notice to quit after which the demolition would take place this week.
The chairman of the association, Prince Adelokiki Orimisan, who spoke on the development, on Thursday, admitted that a notice to quit the complex was served on their members on March 24, 2022, but said the planned action of the government was illegal as their lease agreement had not expired.
Orimisan stated that the quit notice was served in order to pave the way for the demolition of the complex by April 7, 2022, to be carried out by the state government.
He added, “We are all legal occupants of the said property by entering into a proper and documented lease agreement with the state government, and we are still having our lease agreement running for years.
“While some of our members just renewed their tenancy agreement, some still have like a year or two running before the expiration of their tenancy, which is subject to renewal as the case may be.
“It is pertinent to state without equivocation that the Ondo State Government, led by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has not followed due process of the law in this case.
“While we have briefed our lawyers to initiate legal proceedings against the government on the proposed illegal demolition, we are duty-bound as citizens of this state to let the people know the potential evil the demolition of the complex portends.
“Essentially, the complex was to allow business owners, innovators, inventors and budding entrepreneurs to have a common platform where they can showcase their business activities and ventures to attract buyers or even joint partners or venture capitalists who can invest in their businesses for expansion.
“Over the years, the place had been abandoned by successive administrations due to their own acutely myopic economic management capacity.”
While appealing to the government to rescind its decision, the chairman stated, “We ask that, in the alternative, the government should give us a year’s notice to quit as required by one of the provisions of our tenancy agreement.
“We ask that if the government can no longer wait for the expiration of all the terms and agreements in our lease document, the government should relocate all legitimate business owners within the complex to another place to be provided by the government with all expenses of the relocation borne by the government.”
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