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1000 Houses Demolished in Lagos, What’s next?

After a series of plea and protests against the State Government’s plan to demolish over 1,000 houses and shops for the expansion of the Lagos-Abeokuta Road by residents of  Abule-Egba, on October 2, 2016. The state government has finally demolished the building yesterday October 9,2016.

Earlier on, the residents’ the government of reneging on its agreement with property owners. They said, rather than continue the project based on the agreed 32 metres from the old electric poles, the government extended portions for demolition to 91.44 metres.

The atmosphere was full of pain, tears and sorrows as many of the people do not know where to start from. The ripple effect affects over 10,000 people. And consequently, about 10,000 people have been rendered jobless.

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According to the residents, 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. The event is indeed shocking as many landlords and tenants were rendered homeless, the same day.

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Even before the demolition, the news of the demolition had has left four aged landladies hospitalised. So many people have developed hypertension since the notice was served and the new markings were done.

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 governmentAbule Egba is a federal land acquired in 1971. It has a gazette and there are laws to that. What the Federal Government did with the gazette is what we are doing. If their houses fall within the right of way and they have the certificate of occupancy, they should take it to the office. We will then look at the certificate of occupancy and they would be adequately compensated if the certificate of occupancy is genuine. Anybody that has a title document on his property will be compensated.

According to him, Abule Egba is a federal land acquired in 1971. It has a gazette and there are laws to that. What the Federal Government did with the gazette is what we are doing. If their houses fall within the right of way and they have the certificate of occupancy, they should take it to the office. Anybody that has a title document on his property will be compensated.

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Considering the present economy of the country, and the recent crises, this demolition might end up having a negative effect. In this case, however, I choose to be objective. I understand that the Lagos state government is working hard to improve the means of transportation in Lagos and in Nigeria as a whole.

However, looking from these people’s perspectives, one will feel their pains and sorrows. In my own opinion, I think a measure of compensation should be given to everyone who has a document or a prove that he/she was in the environment. But this is not an easy task.

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Maybe this is a general lesson for property buyers to take note, and make sure that they investigate every property thoroughly. Buying properties from the right agents or the right company is important. I really sympathise with the residents of Abule Egba. I also look forward to the government to fulfil its promise by compensating residents adequately -even those who do not have Certificate of Occupancy, no matter how small.

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