By Bose Adelaja
Thousands of automobile technicians in Lagos State have cried out to the state government, following alleged unlawful eviction by some money bag politicians.
The technicians claimed that the unlawful eviction has deprived them of means of livelihood leading to hunger, Untimely deaths and sicknesses among members.
The allocation, control and management of all Lagos State approved mechanic villages are said to be vested in the state Ministry of Transportation through which the automobile technicians pay annual rent, dues and taxes to the state government.
Since 1980, the former civilian governor of Lagos State Chief Lateef Jakande, allocated some underdeveloped spaces like canal setbacks, swamps and powerline areas to accommodate thousands of automobile technicians across the state though permanent structures are forbidden on the spaces.
However, the trend is gradually changing as thousands of these informal workers are being forcefully evicted under the nose of their landlord.
Findings revealed that about 42 approved mechanic villages are in Lagos but the occupants have been violently evicted from 15 spaces thereby leading to loss of means of livelihood by occupants.
Vanguard Live captured the plights of some of these automobile technicians.
As at Friday, July 17, 2020, a visit to Babs Animasawun Mechanic Village, off Bode Thomas, Surulere, revealed that permanent structures like a filling station and residential buildings have been erected under the power line just as some hefty looking men were noticed.
According to the mechanics, the most recent eviction took place in July 2020 at Number 1, Jimade Close, Odo Aladura, off Ladipo, Mushin.
The Chairman, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association, Lagos State, Comrade Jacob Fayeun said the eviction is biting harder on his members just as he called on the state government to come to their aid.
As at the time of this report, the Honourable Commissioner for Transportation Dr Frederick Oladeinde did not respond to his calls and text messages.
Also, his Public Affairs Officer Bolanle Ogunlola did not respond to her calls.