UNILAG Demolishes surrounding homes
Rubles of demolished homes and shelters surrounding UNILAG. Photo: Oladipupo Mojeed

Thousands of Iwaya, Yaba residents whose places of abode were demolished on Friday have accused the Lagos Task Force of not giving them prior notice

The victims, including a 3-day-old baby, occupying homes and shelters around Abete-Balogun extension at Iwaya, Yaba Local Council Development Area have been rendered homeless.

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Concise News reported on Friday that UNILAG management carried out the demolition in conjunction with men of the task force.

Quit Notice

One of the victims, a three-wheeler (Keke Marwa) driver, whose wooden shelter was demolished, Ukah Onyebueze, told Concise News that there was no quit notice issued to them by authorities prior to the demolition exercise.

UNILAG Demolishes surrounding homes
Rubles of demolished homes and shelters surrounding UNILAG. Photo: Oladipupo Mojeed

“Yesterday morning when I was going to Sabo because I ply from Sabo to Iwaya, I saw about four caterpillars hanged around Onike side,” Onyebueze said.

“At the same spot, I saw many soldiers with in Hilux vans. Then they proceeded into Abete and went down there (Balogun extension).

“I was confused, and I started moving my things outside. Before I know it, the demolition commenced.

“The only notice I got was the short one between when I saw the caterpillars and when the demolition started. If I had heard something, I would’ve prepared for it,” Ukah said.

Reason for demolition

The reason for the demolition exercise is still unclear. Our correspondents, however, gathered from some affected respondents who pleaded anonymity on Friday that the management of the University of Lagos had issued a quit notice over the death of a four-year-old child by still unknown persons.

Scrap buyers had a field day at the demolition site. Photo: Oladipupo Mojeed

A retired NNPC staff member, Peter Ukaegbuonwuka, told Concise News that the quit notice was later withdrawn after residents pleaded with UNILAG authorities.

“We were given a quit notice. Last three months or so, they wanted to come and demolish it but we pleaded with them not to. They said we should continue staying that they will not demolish it again.

“Unfortunately, yesterday, we just saw them arrive and commence demolition. According to what we gathered from them, they said the demolition is because a 4-year old baby was killed in the area.

“Most of us living here are not here because we like it. It’s because of hardship and frustration. I was a staff of NNPC for sixteen years. I was accused of fraud of $500,000.

“I spent all my money because of this case to regain my claims but I lost out. I also lost my rented apartment as I couldn’t pay for it.”

Eleye family files complaint

A technician whose apartment was demolished along with his belongings in his absence at Balogun extension Anjorin Oluwaseun told Concise News that the Eleye family, the family that sold the plot of land where he erected his structure to him, has filed a complaint with the Lagos state government.

Scrap buyers pay as low as N200 at the gate to miscreants before they are allowed to leave the premises with what they have bought from the demolition victims. Photo: Oladipupo Mojeed

“I was not around yesterday when the incident happened, I traveled to Osun State.

“The Lagos task force claims it served prior notice which I am not aware of. The only notice I am aware is of the one from town planning complaining of this fence that we built (points to demolished fence).

“They did not even allow my family to take out any of our belongings. Everything was destroyed with the property.

“We bought this piece of land from Eleye family. They are the ones claiming ownership to this land. They sold to some of us and leased to others.

“When we called them, they said that they have filed complaints at Alausa. They told us that the demolition is illegal. But who are we to ask them? I think the media should come to our rescue because there are thousands and millions of families here.

“We slept outside here yesterday. It’s horrible. I can’t believe that this kind of thing can be done in a democratic society like Lagos state without a formal notice.