Sunday, 9 October 2016

Lagos Tenants and Landlords rendered homeless

In a bid to rid Lagos of robbery, kidnapping and ensure development, the Governor of Lagos State.
Gov Ambode has started a massive demolition exercise.Abule Egba a densely populated area is the latest affected.

Tears and wailing ensued as many saw their houses come down in a twinkle of an eye rendering them homeless.

According to Punch the Lagos State government has said the demolition was a necessary measure to expand the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. As of Thursday, residents, landlords and business owners claimed that about 1,000 houses and shops in the area had been affected by the demolition exercise. They said they were only given a seven-day notice by the state government. 

Many spoke to Punch correspondent that they lost property worth millions and their means of livelihood to the exercise. People talked about how they had to rent shops in the area as there were no jobs to make ends meet now they have lost all.

Another property owner in the area, Mr. Oladeinde Bakare, lamented that his one-storey apartment with three flats was affected.

Bakare, who had lived in the area since 1980, said the state government reneged on its agreement with the landlords in the area to demolish structures within a 32-metre marking from the electric pole near the road.

He said, “But they (state government) increased the marked area further to about 92 metres which extended to my house. I thought there was going to be further discussion on the matter. 

We wrote a letter to the state government, but our efforts were to no avail. I would spend about N1m to fix the demolished part. There was no way we could have found another apartment within the seven-day ultimatum they gave us. We are at the mercy of hoodlums and there is no security” He said.

Many others are now homeless.

The pastor of First African Church Mission, Abule Egba, Venerable J.A. Akande, lamented that 104 years of the church’s proud history had been demolished in one swoop. He showed Punch correspondent pictures of the old and new church.

Akande said it took the congregation 22 years to erect a new structure beside the old one they had used for over a century.

Despite their loss, the congregation at First African Church Mission, Abule Egba branch, held a service a few hours after a section of their historic church building was brought down.

A human resource manager at a company in the area, Mr. Adeyemo Olabimtan, a graduate of accounting, also complained. He said, “I had been looking for a job for years until I got one as a human resource manager in the fish processing firm. I have been working there since last year. I have not been married because of unemployment. The company has in operation for over 20 years.”

The owners of the houses pulled down claimed they had genuine certificates of occupancy.
When contacted on the telephone, the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Wasiu Anifowose, said residents with original certificate of occupancy would be compensated by the state government.


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