Residents of Gaskiya Road, Amukoko, Lagos have condemned the demolition exercise being carried out in the area, saying they were not given prior notice and that the bulldozers exceeded the points measured for demolition. The demolition was part of the ongoing road expansion project of the state government in the area.
Some of the affected residents who spoke to Saturday Vanguard bemoaned the situation which they termed ‘brutal and unexpected’, saying before they could bat an eyelid, caterpillars roared into the vicinity, clearing houses in the area, and displacing most residents without compensation.
One of the residents, Kola, said the demolition has left his family homeless. “Our grievance is that when the bulldozers came, they went about the exercise with such brutality that they exceeded the demarcation. My wife and children are outside because my shop and house were affected. They never came to inform us that they would be demolishing the place or informed us about any compensation. Even the popular Gaskiya College was affected”
On her part, another resident Tawa said the situation has left her hopeless. ‘The fact is that they had already marked the place to be demolished a day before. But when they came, it was as if they were under a spell to destroy everything.They went beyond the place they marked. Look at me, my house and shop were destroyed. Do they want me to become a harlot? Last night, I wept because I couldn’t find a place to sleep. They exceeded the initial measurement; this is not fair. They didn’t consider us.”
Elizabeth, a shop owner in the area said they weren’t informed, “They didn’t inform us that they were coming. They came, made some measure-ments, but when the caterpillars came, they exceeded the mark. They concentrated more on this side of the road and we didn’t have time to gather our valuables.We weren’t given any form of compensation”.
Another shop owner, Haruna described the demolition as unexpected. “We just saw this people demolishing houses from Ijora and when they got to this place, they made some measurements and marked the extent of demolition. But when they came, the bulldozers exceeded the point and all our pleas fell on deaf ears. They just told us that they were doing their jobs and working according to instructions. They came without prior notice. We knew that houses were being demolished at Ijora, but we didn’t know they’ll get here. I was surprised when they got to this place.”