Sanity takes flight from Lagos’ Grease Land

• We are helpless, says Ladipo Market leader
• Govt plans car park, shelves relocation

By Tope Templer Olaiya, (Metro Editor) and Gbenga Salau
Once upon a time, Matori, Palm Avenue and Papa Ajao were the highbrow areas of Mushin Local Council of Lagos State. It was a scenic enclave tucked between Oshodi industrial estate and the riotous Mushin city centre, infamous for its incessant street combat. That was before Ladipo auto spare parts market berthed there.

Like a cancer, the market, which has become a Grease Land, has grown in leaps and bounds, spiraling into every available space. As the motor spare parts merchants expands their empire, even the service lane of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway from Five Star to Charity bus-stop is not spared.

The worth of the market is too enormous to evaluate. It is an informal market brimming with massive human and material resources. Directly or indirectly, there is a touch of Ladipo market in every Lagos home with an automobile.

An overgrown canal by the market

An overgrown canal by the market

Besides, the market also services the spare part needs of many car owners across Nigeria, as most of the parts are shipped into the country through the Lagos ports.

The market is rumored to generate about eight per cent of the state’s revenue yearly. There are over 10 million cars plying Lagos roads. Nearly 90 per cent of these cars are potential Ladipo Market clients. A 2015 statistics released by the Lagos State government stated that 78 per cent of the 1.8 million vehicles that were registered in the state were used ‘tokunbo’ vehicles.

There are more than 30,000 parts in a car. There is none hard to find in Ladipo. In fact, there are several assembly points where vehicles are butchered into parts and scraps brought into the country are remodeled into useable vehicles.

At the Grease Land, every section of the market is a beehive of metal merchants’ activities. The grease-soiled ground reminds any visitor that the market isn’t meant for suits and knotted ties. The regular work tools are a simple shirt (T-shirt preferably) on a pair of jeans and a boot or any footwear that must definitely cover your toes.

Though the business might look greasy and dirty, there are huge profits being churned out by the dealers of spare parts and used goods, cart pushers for hire, and most especially the throng of bystanders also known as freelancers, whose job it is to scout for prospective buyers and link them up traders for a commission.

Traders pouring to the expressway

Traders pouring to the expressway

However, the boisterous market has become a menace too hot for any administration in the state to handle. Countless shutdown to rein in traders for flouting sanitation laws, constituting environmental hazards and breaching public peace over leadership tussle, has proved futile.

Residents and road users within and around the market have resigned to fate after deploring severally in very strong terms the incessant gridlock occasioned by the deteriorating state of the road, and the abhorrent activities of traders and artisans in the market.

Daily, vast stretches of the roads are converted to mechanic workshops, where uncountable numbers of cars take turns to be serviced. These artisans that have appropriated large parts of the road as adhoc mechanic workshops, carry out major assignments including replacing car engines, and even spray vehicles right on the road.

The gridlock experienced around the market is worsened when warehouses, which line the service lane at the Toyota bus-stop, receive batches of containers bringing imported spare-parts and scraps from the wharf. They are offloaded right on the road, making swift movement become cumbersome and near impossible.

Outraged at the chaos in the market, the state government has on a number of occasions, made efforts to return sanity to the place, and restore law and order, but all to no avail.

Measures taken in the past, which range from shutting down the market for lengthy periods, to compelling the traders to clean it up, and attempting to ease the traffic with security personnel, have all failed woefully.

Policemen stationed around to help matters and maintain law and order, have become an addition to the problems, as some of them now allocate parking lots to shoppers and motorists who want to fix their vehicles, for a fee.


A motorist, Mr. Akeem Bello, expressed disappointment at government’s failure to take a firm stand on returning sanity to the market. He said whatever revenue the government may be getting from there notwithstanding, the comfort of other road users should never be sacrificed for that of the traders.

President, Ladipo Market Central Committee, Mr. Kinsley Ogunor, lamented that efforts to rid the service lane of the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, have been unsuccessful, as the prevalent hardship in the country is still forcing artisans to convert parts of the road to mechanic workshops.

“I have mandated those operating there not to be parking vehicles on the side bordering the expressway. Sadly, the current hardship in the country is not helping matters, and that is why some of these problems cannot be completely eradicated. As a group, we will continue to do our best to ensure that sanity returns in the market,” he said.

Governor Ambode (right) discussing with the Sole Administrator of Mushin Local Council, Mr. Yinka Kazeem (middle) and treasurer of the market, Chief Cyril Onyema (left) during the governor's visit to the market.

Governor Ambode (right) discussing with the Sole Administrator of Mushin Local Council, Mr. Yinka Kazeem (middle) and treasurer of the market, Chief Cyril Onyema (left) during the governor’s visit to the market.

AND for many residents of Mushin and its environs, who have been troubled by the perennial traffic snarl around Ladipo Market, relief may have come finally, as the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday promised to build a multi-layer car park within the market, so that vehicles will not be parked on the roads, obstructing free flow of traffic.

The governor also promised to reconstruct the two major roads within the market, which are in deplorable state to further aid free flow of traffic around the area.Ambode, who was on an unscheduled visit to the market, was welcomed by jubilant traders, who must have been apprehensive that the governor was there to inspect the market with the intention to order its relocation.

But rather than announced the rumoured relocation of the market, immediately the governor announced the plan to reconstruct the deplorable roads and build a multi-layer car park, the traders applauded with claps and praise singing.

He asked the traders to cooperate with the various chairmen in the market, as he would be meeting with them next week to discuss modalities to uplift the market’s physical plan.

Over the years, commuting around the market has been a perennial headache because traders and customers usually park their vehicles on the road.With the governor’s new position, the call for the relocation or demolition of the market has now been buried.

“When I came here during the campaign, part of my promises was to construct the bad roads here. I should have come earlier because I have spent one and half years in office. I am not pleased with the state of the roads within this market. So we are going to reconstruct Alhaji Akinwunmi and Ladipo streets.

“I have noticed that some things are missing in this market. We will construct a multi-layer car park within this market. With this, all the cars will be at the same location. Only loading and offloading will take place on the road.

“To start with, we will commence the process for the construction with a stakeholders’ meeting next week. At the meeting, we will agree on the process and how the project will be done. We will rearrange the market so that we can commence the construction work next month.


Posers over death at PDP rally in Mushin

• Group seeks investigation, as Jimi Agbaje denies knowledge of incident
By Tope Templer Olaiya
Confusions have continued to trail the death of a 39-year-old commercial bus driver and father of three, Adesoji Adeboye, after he was allegedly hit by a gun shot on Monday, August 25, 2014 at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s rally held in Mushin, Lagos.
But a member of the deceased’s family, Mrs. Shade Afolabi, said they (family) were aggrieved that some respected people are not being truthful about what really happened.
She said: “Though supporters are claiming that he (Adeboye) was shot in Mushin but I don’t understand why someone who was shot in Mushin would be taken to Ketu for treatment where he finally died.
“It is even unfortunate that no one from the party has deemed it fit to visit the family, particularly his aged mother and wife.”
According to her, on the day of the incident, Adeboye was called by his boss, Mr. Kunle Oduyale, to go and convey some party members said to be Agbaje’s supporters from the Lagos end of the old toll gate, opposite Motorways Plaza at about 6am to a political rally scheduled to be held in Epe.
“When he was called, they said the rally would take place in Epe but I don’t know why it was held in Mushin. Later in the evening, his (Adeboye’s) bloodstained bus was spotted at the tollgate and he laid in a pool of blood beside the bus close to FERMA yard.”


Jimi Agbaje

In another account, some relatives of the deceased said Adeboye was shot in the leg during a local government tour by a PDP governorship aspirant, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, in the Mushin area of the state.
In yet another rumour, it was speculated that Jimi Agbaje was attacked by some suspected thugs loyal to other aspirants.
Chairman of the party in Mushin local council, Tunde Fabiyi, while confirming the incident of Adeboye’s death to The Guardian, said the bullet that hit one of Agbaje’s supporters was from the rifle of one of the policemen attached to the politician, who wanted to scare thugs away from his boss.
“Yes, it was true a PDP supporter was shot, but the way it happened was not as it is being painted by the social media. What really happened was that Agbaje was besieged by some young men, who wanted to collect money from him after the rally but in a bid to disperse the crowd, a shot was fired by one of Agbaje’s security operatives, which incidentally hit one of those who came with the politician,” he said.
A revised account of the incident was immediately released in a statement by a group of professional entertainers leading the agitation for Jimi Agbaje, with the name ‘For New Lagos’ (#4NL).
According to the statement signed by the group’s media secretary, Femi Branch, the Mushin tour was one of the most peaceful ever undertaken by Agbaje and the people of Mushin showed him (Agbaje) so much love and a wonderful reception.
“The incident that happened was a result of an accidental discharge from a gun held by one of the team’s own security operatives, who shot himself in the foot while trying to board their vehicle to depart from the venue. Mushin loves Jimi Agbaje and can’t wait to receive him again when he comes visiting.”


Tunji Shelle, Lagos PDP Chairman

However, the governorship aspirant, who is at the centre of the confusion surrounding the incident, has denied being attacked in Mushin and also denied any knowledge of an alleged shooting of Adeboye at the rally.
According to him, contrary to rumours that thugs invaded the rally and he was attacked and almost shot, nothing of such happened in Mushin or in any other local governments he has toured. He added that everywhere he went, mammoth crowds received him and his entourage with warmth, love and jubilation.
However, an Executive Director of a concerned group –– Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative –– Mr. Nelson Ekujumi, has petitioned the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, urging him, the state’s Ministry of Justice and the Commissioner of Police to investigate the murder of Adesoji Adeboye by suspected supporters of Agbaje.

Online spare parts sale debuts in Ladipo Market

ladipoCHAIRMAN, Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre, who also doubles as chairman, Online Spare Parts, Mr Ajibade Hassan Olajoku, has said the popular Ladipo spare parts market has launched its online sales as a way of decongesting activities at the market.
Olajoku said the introduction of the online sales was to cater for upwardly mobile individuals who are busy to visit the market. It will also discourage the rising incidence of touts at the market who fleece visitors to the market and even trade in fake products.
“We are determined to remove the middlemen who specialize in frustrating the customers, with, we are online for 24 hours. We have engine parts, shock absolvers, bumpers, gear buses, brain buses, car stereos, full light, doors, seats, rear lights, and exhausts of different cars.
“We operate within the Ladipo market and have enough delivery vehicles to satisfy customers from all over Nigeria. We also have network of partners who will supply us with brand new products to our customers. We have an internal mechanism to ascertain the products, the new ones have warranty of one year, while the Tokunboh have guarantee of 30 days.

Ladipo 2

An Owanbe special for Olu of Mushin at 35th coronation anniversary, clocks 75

By TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA, Assistant Lagos City Editor

Olu of Mushin, Oba Fatai Ayinla Aileru II

Olu of Mushin, Oba Fatai Ayinla Aileru II

The grounds of Archbishop Aggey Memorial Secondary School, Ilasamaja, Mushin, was last Saturday trampled by monarchs, politicians and dignitaries, who had gathered to celebrate the Olu of Mushin, Oba Fatai Ayinla Aileru II as his subjects rolled out the drums to mark his 75th birthday and 35th coronation anniversary.
Long before the arrival of the celebrant and his high-ranking guests, the area leading to the school and its premises appeared to be under a State of Emergency, as stern-looking anti-riot policemen and patrol vans laid siege on every square metres of the school, with three Black Marias stationed at the gate to take care of trouble makers.
Soon, some civilian activities commenced and the only criterion for entry into the fortified school premises was the brown Ankara Aso Ebi of the celebration. Not long after, a big van carrying instruments of foremost fuji musician, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, popularly known as K1 De Ultimate arrived to set up stage for the band.

The Olu flanked by his Oloris

The Olu flanked by his Oloris

All residents of the area and passersby could do was stay away from the scene of action and stare ahead as early callers began arriving for the Owambe party. And they had to wait for several hours in the scorching sun, as dignitaries did not start arriving until 1pm.
The roll call was impressive as commissioners, legislators, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains, obas of near and faraway kingdoms and celebrities drove into the school to be ushered into their reserved seats by skimpily dressed delectable ladies.
Eventually, the celebrant arrived in a motorcade serenaded by his Oloris and palace chiefs and decked in his full regalia. The party got underway and more VIPs arrived in intimidating SUVs and luxurious cars.
Not a man of many words, he spent few minutes listing his achievements on the throne in the last 35 years and didn’t fail to bring to the notice of his audience the myriad of problems facing the community. One of which is the recurring violent clash between cult groups and warring factions that has defined Mushin in recent years.

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, K1 De Ultimate on stage with his band

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, K1 De Ultimate on stage with his band

As a royal father that he is, he proffers some suggestions to this dilemma: “It is our special request that relevant authorities should see to the removal of abandoned vehicles along the road, which is not only impeding the free flow of traffic, but is usually an hideout for criminals.
“The Federal Government must also improve on the welfare of our policemen and equip our security force with gadgets and training to boost their morale. With all these, it will be easy for the police to have the courage to combat crime and violence and nip it in the bud.”
He, however, bemoaned the spate of kidnapping in the state, which came to a head recently with the abduction of the chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Kehinde Bamigbetan. According to him, it is worrisome and security operatives must redouble their efforts to arrest the situation in the cosmopolitan state of Lagos.
“Now is the time for government to address the problem of youth employment. There is need to encourage our children to aspire greater unemployment. There is need to encourage our children to aspire to attain greater heights in the future and I am committing myself to this with the sponsorship of all Mushin indigenes studying sciences in any Nigerian university.”

Olu surrounded by other traditional rulers in Lagos, with the Ojon of Ejigbo, Oba Moruf Ojoola on the right

Olu surrounded by other traditional rulers in Lagos, with the Ojon of Ejigbo, Oba Moruf Ojoola on the right

Alagodo of Agodo, Oba Mudashiru Odejobi at the event with his Olori

Alagodo of Agodo, Oba Mudashiru Odejobi at the event with his Olori

Oba Aileru is born into the family of Oba Jimoh Gbadamosi Aileru and Olori Elizabeth Alake on 11 March 1938. He is the first child of his parents. Having started his primary school career at the Christian Public School, Mushin, he proceeded to the Metropolitan College, Surulere, for his secondary school education.
On completion, Fatai joined Pan African Metals (NIG) limited, Ikorodu Road, Yaba where he worked as a cashier. As a result of his interest in public service, he joined the Mushin District Council, created in 1955, which later became Mushin Local Government in 1964. In 1977, while still with the council, he was called upon to take the place of his forefathers as the next in line to the throne of Mushinland.

Olu of Mushin, his wives and children cutting the birthday cake

Olu of Mushin, his wives and children cutting the birthday cake

Donations were raised for a palace endowment fund for the completion of a befitting home for the Olu of Mushin as a Grade A monarch in Lagos, which is presently situated inside the Ojuwoye market.