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9 Oct 2016
Shocking!!! Landlord forced to sleep outside with tenants
Some of the victims of the demolition share their stories with ARUKAINO UMUKORO and MOTUNRAYO JOEL
What is your name?
I am Oladeinde Bakare.
How long have you been living in the area?
I have been living in Abule Egba since 1980.
Were you given any notice before your house was demolished?
The first time government officials came to my house; they marked out at point and told me my house was 92 metres away from the expressway which was a good thing. It happened two Thursdays ago. My family and I were glad about the news. A week ago, we were told that the demolition exercise would further affect some of us, from their measurement; it was no longer 92 metres and they said it would affect my house. I thought there was going to be further discussion on the matter. We wrote a letter to the government but our effort was to no avail. We still kept mute on the matter thinking we live in a democratic government where issues are dealt with in a proper manner, but I guess we were wrong.
When was your house demolished?
On Tuesday morning, we were woken by the sound of a huge caterpillar. We all ran to the balcony fearing the worst. We saw the huge machine ripping down years of peoples’ savings and investments. Right there, we knew our house was next. I can never forget that day – never in my life would I forget that morning. I am lucky that my house was not reduced to rubbles.
How much did you lose to the demolition?
I have lost so much. I may spend up to N1m in rebuilding the house. Where will I get that money from?
How many children do you have?
I have three – two of them are in the school. My last born was at home that day. He kept crying as bulldozers tore our house.
What do you plan to do now?
We have no other plan. We were just given seven days’ notice. What could we have done within seven days? It is really unfair. I fear for the worst, I have been praying it does not rain because it will be a disaster if it does. The roof over our head is almost giving way. If the government has decided not to compensate us, then they should provide us with security. We are at the mercy of hoodlums. We do not know how to guard the little property we have left.
Do you live alone?
No, I have three tenants in my flat. They too have been badly affected. They have nowhere to sleep. Many of us slept outside at night.
Has the government discussed compensation with you?
They have no raised it at all and it is wrong. Many of us have been badly affected. We should be compensated. I strongly doubt we would be compensated. Our next action is to go to court but we know the government would win the case. We are on our own.