Residents of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area in Lagos State are faced with the daunting task of finding shelter after their homes were demolished by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) on November 22.
The FHA marked 677 houses for demolition and partially demolished another 744, citing violations of housing and development regulations. The affected properties include residential buildings, hotels, and pharmaceutical companies.
Homeowners expressed frustration over the short notice given before the demolition, which left them unprepared and struggling to find alternative accommodations.
“The notice they gave us was too short to make adequate preparation and avoid what we are going through at the moment,” said Paul Michaels, one of the affected homeowners. “We were not even allowed to remove our belongings properly.”
Another homeowner, identified only as Philip, said he has had to move his family to a hotel since his duplex was demolished. “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,” he said.
A resident who spoke anonymously said some of the victims have been forced to sleep at their workplaces. “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.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, has denied claims that the demolitions are targeting South-Easterners. He said the affected buildings were constructed without approval and were hastily erected during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
The demolitions have left many residents homeless and facing an uncertain future. The authorities have yet to provide adequate support or compensation to those affected.
Source: Punch Newspaper