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Computer Villa Gate

Iyaoloja tradition alien, insult to youths’ driven digital hub—Computer Villa traders’

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…Lagos Assembly receives protest letter, assures resolution

A mundane trend capable of upturning years of innovations and youths’ creativity at the oldest computer hub in Africa and Nigeria in particular, popularly called Ikeja Computer Village is loading.
However, the planned controversial smuggling in of Babaloja and Iyaloja (meaning, market traditional ruler) in the market have been rightly rejected the trading group under the umbrella of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN).
Addressing members of the Lagos House of Assembly Tuesday, the traders who had carried out a peaceful procession right from the market to Alausa, the seat of government, decried the plan, saying it runs contrary to the spirit of the complex which they said, grew without any trace of traditional affiliation.
Ganiyu Idowu, a dealer in refurbished phones and trader in the market, who spoke to Business Hilights during the protest, explained that “Ikeja Computer Village market started and grew large from a street trading by very few pioneer of the market.
“The Ikeja Computer Market has no linkage with any deity like other known markets in Lagos and therefore should not be handed over to deities in the name of installing a Babajoja or Iyaloja.
“The market is founded and developed by enterprising youths who have invested their time and resources in ICT without any link with tradition and therefore should not be erroneously infested by mundane tradition that has no relationship with modernism and free market economy.
According to him, “We cannot tolerate any form of fetish things or indirect worship of local deities that was not there when the pioneers struggled to build the market”.
“Apart from the fact that the major target of plotting to install Babaloja or Iyaloja is to create an endless tax drainpipe to harvest where they did not invest, the most dangerous angle is the backend hidden demands of such traditional practices which always land in dangerous sacrifices during the festivals of the deity worshipped whoever emerges as the Babaloja or Iyaloja.
Further investigations showed that Ikeja computer village is the Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub of Nigeria, arguably, West Africa. It is located in the heart of Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State and about 3.8km to the governor’s office.
Apart from the thousands of people that visit the market daily, Computer village houses about 150 plazas, structured like residential apart­ments because it really grew from street trading powered by resourceful youths who are determined to eke out a living from technology related trading from the onset of telecoms revolution which was sparked off by the emergence of GSM in 2001.
Ikeja Computer Villa also has about six major entry and exit points. From Ogunbiyi community gate, the popular Otigba Street is on the right, ditto Olayemi Street. At the junction, there is a police post before Oshitelu, then Oremiji and Purple Street. Each of the streets has at least one exit.
Receiving their protest letter, a member of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, assured the protesting traders of thorough investigations on their petition and amicable resolution of the looming crisis.

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