Community seeks Assembly’s intervention over demolished houses

Several residents of Oke-Egan Community in the Eleko area of Ajah, Lagos State, on Wednesday, stormed the state House of Assembly complex in Ikeja, demanding compensation for the demolition of their houses.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of the affected community, wielding large banners with boldly written messages, as well as placards with inscriptions to communicate their plights, barricaded the Lagos House main gate in the early hours of Wednesday.

Some of the inscriptions read, “We have been demoralised, nowhere to go;” “We want our properties back”; “Our hearts bleed”; “We now roam the streets with nowhere to stay”; “Our children are crying, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, your children are homeless,” among others.

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.

“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?”

Another affected resident, Pastor Abiodun Ajayi, said, “My house was the first to be demolished and we couldn’t take anything out of the house.

“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.”

Addressing the protesters, the Majority Leader of the House, 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.

The Lagos State Government recently demolished houses considered not meeting the requirements prescribed by the state. Some of the structures taken down were also found to be obstructing drainage channels.

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