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Residents, shop owners in Agege- Pen Cinema groan as mass demolition

Claims over 400 structures

Residents and shop owners in Agege-Pen Cinema are now in serious pain, gnashing their teeth and regretting the day they settled in the vicinity as their acquisition of many years were demolished yesterday, Monday, December 11, 2017, to pave way for the soon to be constructed flyovers and expansion of roads linking Ikeja, Capitol and Ogba. However, few of the victims’ encomium.ng chatted with admitted the fact that the exercise was for the good of all and that they have no choice than to comply with the government directive despite the short notice.

One the affected landlords, Mr. Sunday Odusina said, “I am not the landlord really, but one of his children. I also have my siblings with me here. Our father is late. This is our house, 8, Iju Road, Panada, Agege. There’s nothing we can do about the demolition. We can’t fight Governor Ambode on that. We even need to be grateful to him for remembering our area for the ongoing development and road projects in the state. Left to me, it’s for the good of everybody. There’s no how the development of this magnitude will take place and it won’t affect some people. So, some must be affected. The fact that we’re affected doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing. We don’t need to think about ourselves alone, but the kind of beautification the project will bring to the environment on completion.”

On the tale hovering that they have all been notified of the demolition about five months ago and that they have all been compensated even before the demolition commenced, he reacted, “That’s not true. We were given a week notice. We were served a quit notice on Monday, December 4, 2017, which elapsed yesterday. We all woke up to see that most of the structures have been destroyed.

“And concerning the compensation you’re talking about, nobody has been paid any compensation. Most of the affected landlords just submitted their documents. We submitted ours to the Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning on Thursday, December 7, 2017. And since, they have not contacted us, but they promised they will compensate us. We were even asked to submit the picture of our building and our contact which we also did. So, we’re expecting the state government to get back to us as pledged. But just like I said, what the government wants to construct here will be of benefit to all and sundry. Not only that, it will also beautify the environment.”

Corroborating the earlier submission, Mr. Richard Adeyeye of Boluke Pharmacy also said, “Actually, we were given a seven- day quit notice. Most of us didn’t take the notice serious. That’s why the demolition affected a lot who didn’t see it as something that can come to reality this soon. But we didn’t doubt it in our own case, that’s why we have started moving some of our belongings to our other outlet along Isale Oja, Agege. As you’re aware, people can’t do without what we deal with. So, we must look for a way of attending to our customers here while we’re working towards reconstructing the remaining part of the building. The project is for the benefit of all. We just have to cooperate with the government on it.”

On the compensation aspect, he also reacted, “Nothing like that has been done. Most people have not even submitted their documents. So, we’re still waiting to hear from the state government on that.”

Meanwhile, the ongoing demolition has affected about 400 structures in the vicinity, and more will still be destroyed as the exercise continues. Among the top structures affected were Union Bank, GT Bank, Vita Foam warehouse, all Techno outlets, Bureau de change offices, Boluke Pharmacy and Tastees Fried Chicken (Partly touched). Other expensive boutiques and warehouses were also consumed.

encomium.ng’s efforts to speak with other victims failed as they turned down our request in anger as most of them were yet to get out of the shock.

– TADE ASIFAT

 

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