Obalende illegal structures demolition reveals families lived under bridge for 17, 23 years, as Lagos begins 10-day operations against shanties, containerized shops in area

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The Lagos State Task Force operatives at work at Obalende on Saturday.

Suspected miscreants and hoodlums arrested smoking and selling drugs during the operations.

The Lagos State Government, at the weekend, began the demolition of illegal structures, shanties and containerised shops around Obalende fly-over to pave ways for the free flow of drainages and canals.

The operations revealed that there were two families which lived under the bridge for 17 years and 23 years respectively.

Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, Mr. Olayinka Egbeyemi, disclosed that the 48 hours ‘Abatement Notice’ served traders/occupiers of illegal structures, shanties and containarised shops by the agency around Obalende fly-over expired on Thursday, 27th of July, 2017 but that the government gave another 48 hours grace for them to remove their wares before the commencement of the demolition exercise.

Egbeyemi, a superintendent of police (SP), disclosed further that activities of illegal traders, mechanics and people living around as well as under the Obalende fly-over were an eye-sore as, according to him, they all dumped refuse and used tyres into the canal and drainages thereby blocking the free flow of water which resulted in flooding the Island.

He stated that no responsible and responsive government would tolerate illegality of few people causing damages or destructions to the generality of innocent members of the public.

The Task Force boss confirmed that over 120 illegal structures, shanties and containerised shops had so far been demolished and 20 abandoned vehicles under the fly-over were towed away by the agency.

SP Egbeyemi hinted that arrests were made of people including miscreants and hoodlums who smoked and sold illicit drugs during the demolition exercise which, he said, would last for 10 days, adding that they would be thoroughly screened by the agency before being taken to court.

He however implored members of the public particularly traders around bridges and fly-over across the Lagos State to desist from dumping into canals and drainages refuse and other metals including used tyres by vulcanizers and mechanics.

Head of Public Affairs Unit of the Lagos State Task Force, Mr. Adebayo Taofiq, said in a statement sent to The DEFENDER that one Sunday Eze said he had been staying under the Obalende fly-over for over 17 years with his family.

“I am 70 years of age and I have been living with my wife and 3 children under Obalende bridge since I left Abia State over 17 years ago”

Mr. Eze, who said he did not have any relatives in or around Lagos, commended the government for giving him another 48 hours grace after the expiration of initial six months ‘Abatement Notice’ for them to remove their wares and properties.

Another trader, Alhaja Bilikisu Adigun, according to the statement, said she had been trading and living inside a containerised shop under Obalende fly-over with her husband for over 23 years.

Alhaja Bilikisu stated she had packed all her wares and properties before the commencement of the demolition exercise.

A man, who identified himself as Mr. Akintunde Folami, however commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for demolishing illegal structures, shanties and containerised shops around Obalende, noting that that miscreants and hoodlums terrorised innocent citizens around the area by dispossesing them of their valuables such as phones, wallets and jewelleries both early in the morning and late at night.

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