‘I am a physically challenged person. The school and the set of rooms on the other side are the only properties I have and it is already marked to be demolished,” a visibly concerned owner who was rooted to her wheelchair told InsideMainland while pointing at the partly competed bungalow that serves as a nursery school she runs in the Love Estate, Mowo Kekere, Ikorodu community, Lagos Mainland.
The source identified simply as Iya Ibeji continued saying: “The first time they came, some of my teachers told them to wait to see the owner of the structure before demolishing it. They begged that they shouldn’t demolish the building because of the condition of the owner.
“The next time was few days ago when they came to paste demolition notices on houses in the community. The Police accompanied the officials from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to carry out the exercise. The officers told me not to sit and watch but do something to prevent my properties from being demolished because they saw me on wheelchair outside my compound.”
Mama Ibeji is just one out of over hundred landlords and tenants who are faced with the battle to ensure their properties are not demolished by the officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
In November 2017, more than 70% of houses within the Love Garden Estate, Mowo Kekere, Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland, were marked for demolition by the government. The demolition process was scheduled to be effective in 48 hours from the day a contravention notice was served.
Immediately the notices were served, the concerned persons rushed to Alausa, Lagos Mainland, to cry to the Lagos State Government and the lawmakers at the House of Assembly.
InsideMainland exclusively gathered that the contravention and demolition notices were served respectively on November 7 and 9, 2017, by the Office of the Honourable Commissioner for Physical planning and Urban Development through the directive of one Mr. Okuniyi of the Technical Services Department (TSD) of the Ministry.
It was learnt that the notices were served due to the home owners did not get the approved building plan before erecting the structures.
When InsideMainland visited the community, some of the affected persons told our correspondent that since the notices were served some members of the community development association were delegated to resolve the issue. “The community leaders have been attending meetings to ensure a lasting solution is found on the matter,” a resident of the area, Mr. Ayandele told InsideMainland.
According to one of the residents, the alleged owner of the large expanse of land is believed to be working with the government who is fronting for him to ensure he retrieves his land.
It was however gathered that majority of the affected home owners purchased their lands from the Ifegbuwa family with the contact person in the family identified as one Mr. Tolani issuing receipts of the purchase on behalf of the family.
“We have been here for more than two years. We argued with the people pasting the notices that we have all the necessary documents but we were told that was not the case but the case of ownership. The only owner we knew is the Ifegbuwa family. We bought the land from them making full payments.
“I had to call a member of the family and he said the place is a village extension and free from government acquisition,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the landlord association revealed they are yet to get any concrete information from the last meeting they had with the House of Assembly lawmakers in Alausa.
Presently, the residents of the area are crying to the Akinwunmi Ambode led government to rescind the decision to demolish structures worth billions of naira in the community.
“If the entire Ijede and areas Ikorodu are checked, I am certain that hardly will we establish 90% buildings having the required building plan approval. We plead with the government to come to our aid to so that our sweat and labour won’t go down the drain,” the source added.