Nigeria Newspapers

Displaced Lagos homeowners seek help on new shelter

0e14d8cf 1853892 demolished building

Some victims of the buildings that were demolished within the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have decried the frustration of securing shelters for their families.

The Federal Housing Authority on Wednesday, November 22, began the demolition of several houses in various estates within the local government area specifically in some parts of FESTAC Phase II and Abule Ado.

The FHA had marked 677 houses and partially demolished another 744 for allegedly contravening housing and development regulations.

It was gathered that most of the affected structures were residential buildings while a few others served commercial purposes such as hotels and pharmaceutical companies.

however learnt that the homeowners had since the demolition been faced with the challenge of securing shelters to settle down.

While citing the short eviction notice issued to them before the demolition, the victims noted that it took them unawares, hence their unpreparedness.

An affected homeowner, Paul Michaels, who spoke to on Wednesday, described the situation as a double tragedy.

He said, “What had just happened is beyond me. I can’t imagine being a proud owner of a house and the next thing I am here struggling to find a shelter to put my head on. The notice they gave us was too short to make adequate preparation and avoid what we are going through at the moment. We were not even allowed to remove our belongings properly.”

 Another distraught homeowner who identified himself only as Philip said he had moved his family to a hotel since his duplex was demolished.

He said, “I know some people who have moved their families into the houses of their friends and relatives around, but I really do not really have friends around where I can ask my family to stay in the meantime. So, I have moved them to a hotel pending the time we secure an apartment after which I will think of the next thing to do. I have started to look for an apartment and I don’t know how long it will take me to secure one. At the same time, staying in the hotel costs a lot.”

 A resident in the area who did not want his name mentioned said some of the victims had been sleeping at their places of work.

“Due to the short notice, some of them who own their businesses have been sleeping in their shops while they try to get an apartment. Some are already thinking of relocating to their hometowns,” the resident said.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, has refuted claims that the ongoing demolition by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is targeting South-Easterners.

He made this known while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.

According to him, the demolished buildings in the state were constructed without approval from any of its agencies, and they were hastily erected during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.