News, People, Seat of Power

More residents, shop owners speak on Agege-Pen Cinema demolition

The notice was too short’, they echo
As the demolition in Agege-Pen Cinema area of Lagos state continues, more and more structures keep falling while many others have also been marked for demolition in a matter of days.
encomium.ng visited the place again on Thursday, December 14, 2017, and had a chat with some victims of the unavoidable exercise.
Speaking with us, Mr Emma Uchenna said, “Although we have no choice, it’s unfair to give us one week notice. Most of us thought it was a joke until we came here on Monday morning and met our shops destroyed. Now, we’re confused because we have nowhere to move to yet. The government should have made an alternative plan for us before sending us away from here. I have been here for more than two decades. Anyway, we all believe everything happening now is for a better tomorrow, but it shouldn’t have been done in a hurry like this.”
Another trader whose shop was also levelled, Mr Chibuzor lamented,  “Nobody is arguing with Ambode, but he should have given us more time. And he knows Christmas is very much around the corner. And that’s the season we sell most of our goods. Now, we have nowhere to even display them because it’s a serious crime now to display goods on the roads. How do we cope now? And very soon,  another academic term will begin. How are we going to pay our children’s school fees?”
Also, a Bureau de change operator, Mallam Abeeb Abdullahi said, “Everything caught us unawares. I just came back from Kano yesterday and met the whole place destroyed. But so far it’s the government that did it, there’s nothing we can do. We only need to let our customers know about our new place which we’re looking for now.”
One of the affected landlords, Alhaji Olohunnisola Bakr also lamented, “Although, it’s unfortunate that the house I built for more than three decades was just destroyed in one day. There’s nothing we can do about it. No one can fight and win government on anything like that. All we’re just pleading for is the compensation they promised us. I have also submitted my house documents just like every other affected landlord has done. No one is an enemy of progress, but the notice should have been extended to the first quarter of 2018 so that we could have organised ourselves very well. This notice was just too short. The rents of some tenants have not expired, now the house has been demolished. We’re confused.”
– TADE ASIFAT

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