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Traders stage comeback to Oshodi rail tracks

20 January 2016, 21:33

Lagos - Traders on the rail tracks at Oshodi, dislodged in 2008 by former Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, have started returning to the sport unmolested.

The traders had in the meantime limited the display of their goods on the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) disused second track, abandoned since 2009.

A visit to the area on Wednesday reports that when Fashola, now the Minister of Power, Housing and Works, dislodged the traders, the two tracks were functional.

But the traders then defiantly displayed their goods on the two tracks.

Kiosks of different sizes were then placed on and along the two tracks by the traders to display their wares.

The traders hurriedly moved their goods away for an approaching train only to return after the train had gone.

Reports have it that the traders were dislodged because Oshodi, especially along the rail tracks, was known to be the dirtiest and an abode for criminals in Lagos State.

Before the dislodgement, their activities not only disrupted the movement of the train due to the congestion, but also prevented easy movement of passengers when alighting or joining the train at the station.

Also read: Lagos government demolishes shops in Oshodi

The traders always pushed the passengers away not to step on their goods, leaving many of them unable to drop or join the train at the station.

Often times, the situation led to quarrel between the passengers and the traders, but the traders always boasted that they paid for their space on the tracks.

The situation was now gradually returning with the traders staging a comeback.

One of the traders along the tracks, who spoke anonymously, said that they settled some people to sell their goods along the disused track.

The trader who also declined to mention those that were settled, however, added that some miscreants, who called themselves "Omo-Onile" (land owners), were among those settled.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has started erecting metal fence to protect the rail tracks from Ilupeju to Ikeja to check the activities of the traders and miscreants.

The NRC Managing Director, Adeseyi Sijwuade, said on Wednesday that the corporation had met with the Lagos State Government which promised to execute the project.



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