- We paid N3m each to buy shop from LG –Traders
Traders, residents and owners of properties under high-tension cables in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area of Lagos wept profusely yesterday as government demolished over 500 shops and shanties.
Also demolished were blocks of shops built by the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, bars, restaurants, market, offices, club houses among them La Groove and other structures located under the high-tension cables.
Residential buildings, makeshift structures as well as container-shops were not spared in the demolition exercise which lasted several hours amidst downpour. It was learnt that government had warned the property owners on several occasions to vacate the area for safety and health reasons. It also said that occupants of structures under the tension cables risked death resulting from electrocution, cancer and other health hazards.
Government also gave several ultimatums for the property owners to vacate the area before demolition exercise which was carried out by the joint officials of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offence Unit and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA). Many traders defied downpour and rushed to their shops to salvage whatever they could save before the bulldozers pulled down their shops.
A Director of Inspectorate and Quality Control Department, LASBCA, Mr. Oki Gbolahan, said government would not fold it harms and allow people to risk their lives. According to him, people who live, sell or trade under high-tension cables face many hazards. He said: “Is it the risk of cancer that we want to say or what?
As it is raining now, if your body is connected with a tester, you will see the number of voltage in your body for standing under high-tension cables. You can imagine what happens to average Lagosians who stay under these cables all through their lives. “The role of government is to ensure safety of lives and property. That is why the exercise is important. It is better for us to do what is right than to allow them to risk their lives.
We are talking of electricity for crying out loud, it kills within seconds! No government will want people to die or risk her citizens’ lives by allowing them to stay here.” The task force Chairman, SP Olyinka Egbeyemi, who led the enforcement team, described the exercise as an eye-opener to owners of property under hightension cables.
He said: “This is an eye-opener for the people that illegality has no place in Lagos. Building under high-tension cables won’t be allowed. Irrespective of the economic situation, health hazards of this habit should be considered. I have never seen anywhere where people risk their lives as this. The cable could disconnect anytime. Imagine the lives that could be lost.” Egbeyemi advised residents not to buy or rent property under high-tension cables.
Meanwhile, one of the shop owners, Mrs. Funke Ososana, said many of them bought the shops from Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area at prices ranging from N1.5 million to N3 million while those who rented the shop paid N15,000 monthly, depending on the size. Assistant General Secretary of Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun Modern Market, which was also demolished, Yisa Mudashiru, said they had been selling and living inside the market for over 35 years.
He told New Telegraph that they developed the illegal markets in conjunction with officials of Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area. Mudashiru confirmed that they were served adequate notices and that the Baba Oloja, Mr. Salami Alao and Iya Oloja, Alhaja Irat Adebayo, were lobbing government officials to stave of the demolition. The leader of the Hausa community at the market, Alahaji Aliyu Galadima, said the market was divided along the three ethnic groups – Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.
Also, government has served other areas where illegal structures and shops are constructed under high-tension cables with demolition notices.
Investigations showed that both Mr. Samson Wahab Balogun aka Oba and Idris Wahab Balogun aka Oluomo claimed the ownership of the land and gave it to a developer, Jasiours Enterprises, because they are related to Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun of Isheri. A trader, Mrs. Taiwo Akade, confirmed that both ‘Oba’ and ‘Oluomo’ collected several millions from the developer and the traders.
– New telegraph