Automobile technicians stage protest at Assembly over ejection order
The technicians, under the aegis of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Lagos Mainland chapter, said that the three-day ejection order was arbitrary and an attempt to deprive them of their only means of livelihood.
The protesters, who chanted solidarity songs endlessly, also displayed placards with messages such as “NATA, we do pay our tax,” “NATA Mainland Chap SOS,” “NATA is 4 APC,” “NATA, we are law abiding citizens,” “We are responsible citizens,” and “Why is Lagos after us, this is double standard.”
Leader of the group, Rasak Mumuni, explained that the commissioner for the environment had stormed their base under the Third Mainland Bridge on Friday, November 6 and gave them three days’ notice to quit the place.
Mumini said, “He said that we should leave the place. We are under the Third Mainland Bridge, and the place was used as the equipment office of PGH Construction company.
The place had been abandoned by the government for over 30 years and it became a hideout for hoodlums. We got permission to use the place from the former chairman of Lagos Island Local Government, Hon. Adekanye Oladele aka Lado.
“We had been trying to get permission for the place before then and we have evidence that the place was given to us. The Chairman told us to look for a place and he said that we should start using the place and keep it clean. That was how we eventually got this place over one year ago,” he said.
Mumuni pleaded with the government to reverse the ejection order since they had been told not to use the roadside as workshop anymore.
He said that they had spent a lot of money on the site, which he said was swampy and used to serve as hideout for hoodlums. “We are pleading with the state government and the Lagos State House of Assembly to come to our aid because we took care of the site and provided security in the area. We have over 1000 members, we just picked representatives from each unit to stage the protest,” Mumini said
State General Secretary of NATA, Kayode Ayodele, stated that the state ought to provide an alternative for the technicians, while appealing that the matter should be reversed by the government.
However, in a petition addressed to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, by the lawyers of the technicians, Olawale A. Bashorun & Partners and dated Monday 9th November, 2015, the technicians stated that due process was followed before they got the parcel of land measuring 460 square metres and that they have spent over N30 Million to put it in the current state.
Our clients wrote a letter of request for mechanic village to the Ministry of Environment through the then Executive Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, in the person of Hon. Adekanye R. Oladele (LADO) on the 29th July, 2013,” the letter read in part.
They, however, appealed to the Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene in the matter so that they could go back to work.