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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Chaos in Ejigbo as Lagos State government demolishes 2,000 shelters in Jakande Estate

Operatives of the Lagos State Building Investment Corporation, Monday, demolished over 2,000 illegal shanties and makeshift shops allegedly used to deface Jakande Estate in Ejigbo. The action of the agency, according to residents and shop owners in the estate have rendered hundreds of people jobless as the shops provided a ‘daily bread’ to the owners.
According to one of the residents, Kayode Adesina who spoke to The Guardian amidst tears: “THE DEMOLITION WAS CARRIED BY THE LAGOS STATE BUILDING INVESTMENT CORPORATION AND THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT. THEY GAVE US NOTICE OF DEMOLITION BUT WHERE DO THEY EXPECT US TO GO. THEY SAID THEY WANT TO BEAUTIFY THE ESTATE. THEY CAME WITH OVER SEVEN BULLDOZERS AND DOZENS OF MILITARY MEN AND HERE WE ARE, I HAVE MY CHILDREN IN THE UNIVERSITY. MY JOB STOPPED AND IT WAS FROM THIS SHOP THEY DEMOLISHED THAT WE HAVE BEEN FEEDING ON. “I AM DEVASTATED AS I SPEAK TO YOU NOW. WE HAVE GONE TO THE LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TO REGISTER OUR PROTEST; WE HAVE ALSO BEEN TO BABA JAKANDE’S HOUSE. I AM CONFUSED AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.”

Another shop owner, Gboyega Adebanjo told The Guardian that the entire estate would protest the action of government. His words: “THIS WAS NOT THE CHANGE WE VOTED FOR. IT IS UNFAIR THAT ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE USUALLY AGAINST THE POOR AND THE MIDDLE CLASS. WHAT DO THEY EXPECT US TO DO NOW? HOW CAN THEY JUST COME AND DESTROY OUR SOURCE OF LIVELIHOOD?”

According to another resident, who identified himself as Damilola Agbaje: “THE EXERCISE CARRIED OUT BY GOVERNMENT IS NOT IN OUR FAVOUR. IT IS NOT GOOD THAT LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT HAS CONTINUED TO MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR US. WE ARE NOT IN A HAPPY MOOD AT ALL.”
Women and youths of the area were sighted wearing long faces as scavengers had a filled day carrying metals from the destroyed buildings. Although, shop owners had attempted to halt the demolition, they were prevented by fierce looking military personnel who came with the Lagos State officials.

One of the shop owners who spoke with The Guardian said that she had owned the place for over a decade.


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