Oke Afa Residents Stage Protest To Lagos Assembly Over Planned Demolition of Shops

Residents of Oke-Afa Estate Area of Isolo, Lagos have called on the State House of Assembly to prevail on the state government to stop the planned demolition of the shops in the estate.

Some of the residents, who staged a protest to the House on Monday stated that officers of the Lagos Building Investment Company gave them a final notice on Friday, Oct. 28.

According to them, the demolition is slated for Tuesday Nov. 1.

The protesters said that the development would lead to loss of livelihood for the shop owners who are predominantly pensioners.

The leader of the protesters, Chief Olawale Osanyinpeju said that the estate was constructed by former governor Lateef Jakande in the 80s, adding that the residents built shops on spaces around their houses.

Osanyinpeju said, “We cannot allow grasses to grow in the spaces, so we decided to build shops on the spaces. Since then, we have been making use of the place. We cannot leave them and go to the market.

“LBIC initially came to demolish the stalls, but we invited them and we discussed. I am the Chairman of Kiosks and Containers Committee. They inspected what we had done and they saw that they were okay.

“They came during the tenure of former governor Raji Fashola and said we would be paying ground rent of N1,000 for containers and N500 for small shops and we complied.”

The protesters later submitted a letter dated 31st October and signed by B.A Amosun and Toba Johnson, the President and Secretary of the Landlords’ Association of the estate respectively to the Assembly.

In a petition submitted to the House read in part: “The Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) is planning in conjunction with Ministry of Environment and other bodies to demolish our shops after demolishing our heritage the Landlord Association Civic Centre, which may lead to political instability.”

It was also stated in the letter that they obtained permit before erecting the shops and that they pay annual dues to LBIC and to Ejigbo Local Council Development Area.

Addressing the protesters, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that the House would look into the matter and get back to them in due course.

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