It was a horrific sight on Wednesday, the tenth of March 2021, when the Ogun State Authorities, in a commando fashion, stormed the Denro-Ishashi Street in Ifo Native Authorities Space of the state with absolutely armed riot policemen and troopers alongside bulldozers and different heavy building equipments.
The mission of the invading power was to hold out a supervised demolition of constructions deemed to be obstructing the appropriate of manner of a brand new highway venture within the space, regardless of lack of any significant resistance from residents, who launched into self demolition of among the constructions earlier than the fateful Wednesday.
The virtually 5 kilometres highway, originating from Adugboluja Police Station, Ojodu Abiodun on the fringes of Ojo Berger, and traversing Oluwakemi, Island Heritage Property (Madonna), Denro, Ishashi, Pipeline and all the way in which to the ever busy Akute Bus Cease, had been a nightmare for residents of the areas.
On a yearly foundation, residents say the highway turns into impassable for upwards of two to a few months due to a failed bridge constructed over one of many tributaries of River Ogun that connects Kara on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, throughout which the water overflows, making human and vehicular visitors unattainable.
In response to residents, the overflowing water, coupled with horrible stretch of the highway from starting to the top, made growth of the areas to witness stunted progress, making lives troublesome and the motion of products a harrowing expertise.
Accounts by residents, nevertheless, mentioned the highway was not like that originally however due to a badly dealt with building carried out by the administration of former Governor, Gbenga Daniel.
“The highway was as easy as you possibly can consider when it was newly constructed beneath Gbenga Daniel. We have been glad and elated that lastly we’ve got an excellent highway passing via the neighbourhood. The development of the highway led to new developments, as individuals began flocking to the world, shopping for plots of land and began creating them in earnest.
“Our pleasure and the brand new discovered growth of the world nevertheless was brief lived as slightly below one wet season, the whole highway was washed away, making the highway worse than it was earlier than building. To make issues worse, the bridge building, caved in, resulting in overflowing of the water. We went via hell, with some individuals dropping their lives whereas making an attempt to wade via the water, whose depth instances can cowl a full grown man,” mentioned a chief within the space.
For residents, who fought arduous to draw the eye of the Ogun State authorities to reconstruct the highway, it was an important reduction when the state authorities awarded the contract for it. For a lot of, their years of agitations for presidency consideration lastly paid off.
In a chat with DAILY POST, Mr. Tunde Sosina, a administration guide and property proprietor in one of many estates dotting the world, mentioned they have been elated when the contractors lastly moved to sight to start work.
“It’s only those that have lived on this space for years that may actually admire the gesture of the Dapo Abiodun led administration in Ogun State for embarking on the reconstruction presently happening. Although we had our reservations initially on the genuineness of the contract and the dedication of the state authorities, however it’s quick changing into actual that in no distant future, we will be having an excellent highway that may make life simple for us.
“Once I first purchased my land right here, individuals upgraded me for getting land contained in the bush. For them, it was a waste of cash as growth might by no means meet up with the world. That is even if the property I constructed and keep until now could be lower than 5 minutes to the favored Ojodu Berger Bus Cease, from the place you possibly can join any a part of Lagos with ease. So for me, it’s an important reduction that we now probably have an excellent highway that may hasten the event of the world”, Sosina mentioned.
Regardless of the passion that greeted the reconstruction of the highway initially, the occasions of Wednesday have left many property and enterprise homeowners within the space with sorrow and gnashing of enamel.
From flattening entire buildings to destruction of a number of shops and probably folding up thriving companies, residents at the moment are confronted with growth with pains.
Recounting his ordeal whereas chatting with DAILY POST, a prophet and businessman, who wouldn’t need his title talked about, mentioned he has misplaced greater than 20 outlets and substantial a part of three buildings to the highway building.
“I’m a type of most affected by the present building, as I’ve misplaced over 20 outlets and substantial components of three buildings. These embody a row of seven outlets that have been all occupied simply earlier than Heritage Island Property, a plaza consisting of 12 outlets at Ishashi and others at Kara.
“What’s most painful is that when markings have been carried out initially, among the outlets have been regarded as secure, with solely the extensions in entrance affected. Nonetheless, they got here on Wednesday, they marked the buildings once more and wrote REMOVE. For me, it was like a dream. All of the outlets are gone as I’m speaking to you and no one is speaking about compensation”, the Prophet mentioned, in apparent confusion.
In what many residents contemplate a wise devilish transfer, the Ogun State City Planning Authority earlier than the Wednesday operation, had launched into a unique marking on all of the buildings alongside the stretch of the highway. The markings indicated that they have been all unlawful constructions, regardless of lots of them having accepted plans.
This, the residents interpreted to be a intelligent manner of evading the fee of compensation to these whose properties have been affected.
Nick Anyanwu, one other property proprietor within the space, in a chat with DAILY POST, nevertheless, believes that the transfer by the state authorities to dodge fee of compensation to these with real papers and accepted plans is just not correct.
In response to him, authorities should admire the actual fact that it’s the proper of those property homeowners to be compensated for the lack of their investments and since there is no such thing as a infringement on their half, authorities should discover a method to mitigate their losses.
“Governance will need to have a human face and no growth might be mentioned to be actual growth if these for whom it’s meant to serve turn into worse for it within the course of. It mentioned that some properties alongside the highway possibly unlawful however there is no such thing as a manner all of them might be unlawful. I’m conscious that an entire lot of those properties have accepted plans, so marking them as unlawful to keep away from fee of compensation is definitely a heartless transfer.
“I’ll attraction to the state authorities to look extra intently into this and do the needful. We admire the efforts of Governor Abiodun at making the reconstruction of the highway a actuality however the pains it has introduced with it may also be mitigated. It’s going to curiosity you to know that from the Adugboluja Police Station as much as Aketu, you possibly can hardly discover any store nonetheless standing. Companies have been affected. Commerce has been dropped at zero and the lives of the individuals affected might take time to stabilise”, Anyanwu mentioned.
A restaurant operator, merely known as Mama Dami has been misplaced in thought on what her subsequent transfer could be after the constructing housing her restaurant was demolished.
Her restaurant, one of many few locations one can eat native Yoruba dishes within the space, was one of many occurring locations, because it adjourns a bar that has turn into well-liked and the toast of the world for younger women and men, who discover it superb for his or her leisure and watch the Premier League soccer. For Mama Dami, enterprise was certainly booming and the prospects wanting up for good. This optimistic projection has nevertheless given manner for despair, uncertainty and gloomy future.
In a chat with DAILY POST, Mama Dami mentioned she least anticipated had occurred to her, as she had zeroed her thoughts that it was solely the extension she did exterior the restaurant that might be affected.
“What we have been instructed initially was that it was factors they marked that might be affected. We, on our personal, eliminated the extension exterior, because it was apparent from the marking that it will be affected. So, we have been assured that we had carried out what wanted to be carried out. However on Wednesday, they got here with absolutely armed riot policemen and troopers. It was God that saved my gear, furnishings and foodstuffs that had been stocked. They might have demolished the constructing on them. The identical factor goes for my neighbours.
“The query now could be the place do I wish to go? That is the place I’ve my buyer base and I can let you know that you just can not get any store round right here any longer as a result of they’ve all been introduced down. Going to a different neighbourhood will imply beginning another time. For a way lengthy will I try this?”, Mama Dami requested.