Demolition: Lagos community seeks assembly’s intervention, demands compensation

No fewer than 500 residents of Oke-Egan Community, Eleko Area of Ajah in Lagos, on Wednesday stormed the State House of Assembly complex, demanding compensation over the demolition of their houses.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters barricaded the Lagos House main gate in the early hours of Wednesday.

They wielded large banners with boldly written messages, as well as placards with inscriptions to communicate their plight.

Some of the inscriptions read: “We have been demoralised, nowhere to go. “We want our properties back.”

Others include: “Our hearts bleed; “We now roam the streets with nowhere to stay; Our children are crying; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, your children are homeless; Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, please come to our rescue.”

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Dr Taiwo Alalade, lamented that her entire family, including three toddlers and her elderly mother, had been sleeping out in the open after their house was demolished.

She said, “One of us has four buildings here. We have all the papers. They demolished all four buildings. Now, I don’t have anywhere to go.

“Sanwo-Olu should help us so that they will stop the demolition. We were not informed before they started demolishing our houses. We don’t know these people at all.

“I went to work. When I came back, I saw my house in ashes. This shirt I put on has been on me for three days now.

“All my brothers and sisters don’t have anywhere to go. All our belongings have been lost. Where do they want us to go? Where do we start from?

“The state government should tell us where they want us to go. They have succeeded in rendering us homeless. We have been sleeping outside since our house was burnt. If it’s raining, we only cover ourselves with a canopy.”

Another affected resident, Pastor Abiodun Ajayi, whose house in the area was also demolished, said it was painful for someone’s house to be demolished in his presence.

“My house was the first to be demolished and we couldn’t take anything out of the house.

“They got there at 3.00am and they started the demolition by 5.00am. They came with thugs and we could not talk.

“We have been coming here, we wrote letters and Oba Akiolu of Lagos also wrote a letter on our behalf, because we want to be lawful,” Ajayi said.

Addressing the protesters, the Majority Leader, Hon Noheem Adams, who was accompanied by his colleagues – Oladipupo Ajomale,  Fatai Mojeed and Tijani Suraju, commended them for their peaceful conduct.

Noheem noted that their letter would be presented to the Speaker of the house,  Mudashiru Obasa, adding that the needful would be done to bring respite to them.

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