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Lagos council officials, Police, artisans clash over moves to demolish 30-yr-old mechanic site

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By Bose Adelaja

There was pandemonium, yesterday, in Isawo area of Ikorodu, Lagos, as a detachment of police was led by officials of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area, LCDA, to forcefully evict the occupants of Owutu Mechanic Village.

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The team stormed the mechanic village with two bulldozers and seven patrol vehicles, but the artisans resisted moves to demolish their shops, leading to pandemonium that made residents, commuters and road users scamper for safety.

Vanguard gathered that the mechanic village, which has been in existence for about 30 years, comprises various sections for the artisans and was leased to the mechanics by the state government after the stipulated requirements were met.

However, a notice was issued to the occupants by the LCDA on May 7 that half of the mechanic village will be converted to other modern public utilities like shops, public centre, banking hall and shopping mall. But the mechanics unanimously responded to the notice that the LCDA should channel its letter to the state government.

Vanguard gathered that when the policemen and council Chairman could not have their way, they angrily left the scene only for the council officials to return to the scene with some hefty-looking hoodlums. But the occupants also mobilised to resist them.

In a chat with the Chairman of the Mechanic Village, Ayan Sulaiman, he described the attempt by the LCDA as rape of justice and called on the state government to come to their aid.

Also, a member of the Elders Forum in the mechanic village, Mr. Lawal Rotimi, said the land was leased to them in the era of former Lagos State governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, and the artisans have been paying the required charges to the state government.

At press time, all avenues to reach the council Chairman proved abortive.

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