Saturday, February 24, 2024

Ajao Estate Buildings Demolition: Questions Arising

The south-west Lagos State Government on April 29, 2023 demolished 13 illegal buildings at I.K. Peter Street, Ajao Estate, cited in close proximity to the Murtala International Airport, Lagos.

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), backed by taskforce officials stormed the area with bulldozers to begin demolition of the illegal structures after series of notices served the occupants.

Environment Correspondent, Gimalo-Angel Olowogoke who visited the scene spoke to a former resident of the area, Mr. Peter Mbang.

“In fact, it was on Friday, one of my brothers called me that they are demolishing house in I.K. Peters Street. I said, Okay, I will come over because I was once living here.

While I was working here, I’ve been working… This is almost my 20 years in Ajao Estate. And here I came here 2012.

Since 2012, there’s a house there I came here, I met. They say it’s Ik Peter’s house. Ike Peter’s house, I met here in 2012. That particular 2012, this street was not like this. The whole of this place, it was only the house that was there. Where I am so free. Since after 2012, I started seeing the erect a fence here.

They started construction here. I was working here with some of the builders because I’m into water engineering. I’ve been working here with most of the houses here. I follow and do it. But after they have came that time and they make a gutter that link that…

I think it was the government because it was one of this Yuba company that was constructing the gutter. But later they closed the gutter and put on a fence. Since that 2012, people has been coming here and developed. My wonder is why is it that government have been coming here? Because I could vividly knew that before they give somebody plan in this place, the plan was from the government. Before they give you plan to build, government must find the…

In fact, this fence was not the fence that they built here. This place was a gutter. This place was a gully that water that comes from the airport passes through. It wasn’t a fence. It is when they now put that back wire there, the airport put that back wire there, they now put this fence and they started filling this place. That is what I knew because I’ve been here since 2012.

I don’t think there was approval. All I knew is that most of the land that was sold here was sold by people. It is people that sold the land to these people. I could vividly tell you that some of the people I can tell you about, three people in this line here who has a building. I have never seen them in their house. I’m in their eyes. They have not come in here. But they stay over outside there, bought a land here, and they give people to develop it. And they develop it. You understand me? Like the first man in the first house at the last extreme end, very close to Jalobia Garden. That man has never come to Nigeria. It was a thing. Last year, last year, December, I made the demand. It is only his family when the builder has finished the parking. I’ve never seen demand. It is people who sold the land to them and they started building. You understand me? Who are these people? I don’t know. It is government that knows because government… I will tell you the truth, because they came here and they are some dues that government came here to collect.

They give them notices. I think this notice started about two or three years ago. You understand me? That is what I will know. I know about. It’s about two or three years ago. But normally, we know that this area was designated for airport, the whole of this area. You understand me?

What is paining me so much is, why didn’t government come when this thing was a flood when this thing was. Even when they put on defense, government would have came with this quote, and they put on and they stop this and tell people don’t be there and put a notice. This should be out of bounds for everybody. But why is it that there are a lot of people after collecting money from people’s hard-earned money?

See the pipeline? This pipeline has been here for over… I know of this pipeline.

Nobody’s supposed to stay here because it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous. But if it is not this thing, why is government not coming? This should be earlier than this”

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