Lagos orders traders to leave rail tracks, seizes goods

The Lagos State Government on Monday began what it called “Operation all illegal traders must leave rail tracks in Lagos” with the confiscation of wares being sold on the rail lines.

The Head, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Task Force, Mr Adebayo Taofiq, said in a statement on Tuesday that the operation commenced at Ikeja rail track.

According to Taofiq, different types of goods ranging from used clothing popularly called ‘Okirika clothes’, shoes, belts, fairly used electronics and gas cylinders were confiscated.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Task Force had on Sunday warned traders and other persons doing business on rail tracks in the state to leave or face arrest and prosecution.

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Areas notorious for rail line trading include Mushin, Pen-cinema, Ikeja, Yaba, Oyingbo and Agege.

The task force chairman, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had said that convergence of illegal traders selling and buying goods around rail lines was suicidal and an eye-sore in different parts of the state.

He said that many lives had been lost to the illegal rail track trading.

Taofiq said the Monday operation was carried out as a follow-up to the earlier warning to traders to vacate the tracks.

He said that no arrest was made during the operation, as the traders ran away leaving their goods when they saw the task force operatives.

“It will no longer be business as usual until a zero tolerance on this is maintained. The government has reiterated and warned council officials and market leaders against collection of money from such illegality.

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“Anybody caught collecting illegal fees from these illegal traders on rail lines across the state would be seriously dealt with in accordance with the law,” he said.

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