By Bose Adelaja
Few hours into the new year, scores of occupants were rendered homeless Thursday, following the demolition of Monkey Village in Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos State.
Before the demolition, the village occupies an expanse of land which haboured different categories of people who carried out various activities on the land.
However, scores of the occupants have been dislodged following the demolition which was carried out by some unidentified men.
It was gathered that some armed personnel arrived the village on Thursday and gave the occupants few minutes to move their belongings.
Unfortunately, those who did not comply with the directives were said to have lost their belongings to the demolition exercise.
Eye witnesses’ account said property including Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gadgets and business centers as well as libraries were lost to the exercise.
As at 3pm, some of the victims were yet to map a way forward out of their present predicament.
The cost of demolished items could not be ascertained at press time.
The exercise has generated controversies as some of the victims have alleged Lagos State Taskforce for being responsible for their woes.
Following the demolition exercise, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) has dissociated itself from the exercise saying it was not carried out by its men.
The spokesperson for the Taskforce, Adebayo Taofiq, in a statement said, “The attention of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) has been drawn to a social media report alleging that the demolition exercise in Monkey Village, Opebi, was carried out by the Agency.
“It is imperative to state categorically that the Operatives of the Agency was not in any way involved in the said demolition exercise as being circulated.
“The Agency wish to make it clear that the operatives is presently enforcing the Lagos State Transport Sector Reformed Law of 2018 to enable free flow of traffic during this festive season across the State.
“It is also note worthy to mention that officers attached to the Agency have been strategically positioned to different black spots areas in order to curb criminal activities of miscreants and hoodlums who harass innocent members of the public.”