In a heart-wrenching incident, numerous women and children in the Oworoshoki area of Lagos State have been rendered homeless as the Lagos State Government’s agents conducted a demolition and burning operation, leaving behind a trail of destruction and despair.
The demolition, which began last Monday, affected at least six streets, and residents fear more demolitions are imminent. Visiting the area on Sunday, our correspondent witnessed the distressing sight of children and elderly women forced to sleep outside their burnt homes, while some sought refuge in abandoned tricycles.
Outraged residents expressed their dismay over the lack of notice from the state government, which prevented them from salvaging their belongings before their properties were reduced to ashes.
Streets like Oke-Eri, Oluwaseyi, Community, Cornerstone, Ogo-Oluwa, Lagos, and others were devastated, with over 7,000 buildings turned to rubble and debris.
One resident, Mama Alhaji, a septuagenarian, shared her heartbreaking story of losing her charcoal business, which had been her livelihood for 33 years. She recounted the shock of witnessing houses opposite hers being demolished, and before she could react, her own house and valuable charcoal stock worth over N60,000 had been engulfed in flames.
Another resident, a widowed mother of five, tearfully recounted losing half of her belongings to the demolition. Left with nowhere to go, she and her children sought refuge in a nearby church along with other affected residents.
Mr. Akande, a father of eight, expressed his frustration, emphasizing that the state government should have provided prior notification to residents. He also highlighted how the task force forcefully prevented residents from documenting the demolition, further exacerbating the anguish of the affected community.
The tragedy extended to a building owned by PAN Africa Limited, intended for a telecoms mast, which was threatened with demolition despite the company having paid for the project and received government approval.
A community leader, who wished to remain anonymous, disclosed that the government had initially informed them about demolishing wooden houses along the riverbank, but they were taken aback when the destruction extended to concrete structures, and residents were not allowed to save their belongings.
Despite attempts to reach the Director of Public Affairs of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Odunuga, for comment, no response was received.
As the victims of this demolition crisis grapple with homelessness and loss, questions are raised about the lack of proper communication and transparency from the authorities, leaving them to endure the devastating consequences of a government action they claim they were never forewarned about.
- Several women and children left homeless after Lagos State Government’s demolition in Oworoshoki.
- No prior notice given to residents, leading to loss of belongings and properties.
- Allegations of forceful demolitions and damage to paid-for property raised against the task force.