Barely a few days after the Lagos State Government denied a report by the Amnesty International (AI) accusing it of forceful eviction and demolition of homes in various areas of the state, the state Ministry of Environment has begun the demolition of shops, kiosks, containers and attachments to building in the state-owned Abesan Housing Estate in Lagos.
The demolition exercise in the estate which houses over 60,000 inhabitants; and is reputed to be the biggest in the nation is consequent upon a notice to the residents last Tuesday that the exercise will commence immediately.
This is sequel to abatement of nuisance notice served by the Ministry to the President of the Abesan Estate Residents' Association (AERA), Pastor Kehinde Ogundimu November 14, 2017.
According to the notice, the contravention has constituted nuisance to the environment include indiscriminate placement of metal containers within the estate, erection of illegal attachment to the buildings as well as erection of shanties within the environment.
Residents are ordered to abate the nuisance and restored the land to a conducive environment within 72 hours, failure which the environmental sanitation law 2000, 3rd schedule, section 28 of cap E5 will be applied.
Ogundimu said the notice was a follow up to the stakeholders' meeting organised by Ms. Folashade Folivi of Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) on October 14, 2017, where a the people told the government that total demolition of the structures will bring untold hardship to over 60,000 people in the estate.
Ogundimu cried that the exercise will render over 40,000 people jobless in the estate; thereby increasing the rate of unemployment in the state and country at this hard times.
He said this would increase rate of stealing, thuggery, hooliganism, robbery among other social vices in the estate.
President of the AERA lamented that the estate will become dull as there will be no life in the estate as relaxation spots, social activities centres are being demolished, adding that whenever there is blackout, the whole estate will look like a ghost town because the structures that light up the estate will longer be there.
Ogundimu remarked that when the exercise is carried out, residents will be forced to 'travel' outside the estate to purchase petty commodities and household items because these commodities they used to purchase next door will longer be available.
Contact for her comment, the Managing Director of the LBC, Ms. Folivi, would not pick her calls. Text messages sent to her phone were not replied.