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Despair As Lagos Govt Begin Demolition Of Houses In Hopeville Estate




One of the houses destroyed during the demolition exercise.
File Photo: An existing house demolition image [Google image just for illustration]

Recent action by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government of Lagos State has caused residents and homeowners in Hopeville Estate, situated in the Sangotedo area of Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos, to grapple with a sense of confusion and helplessness as their homes face demolition.

Naija News reports that security personnel, accompanied by a task force from the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), arrived at the estate last week, with two bulldozers and other heavy machinery to carry out the demolition.

This exercise has resulted in the destruction of numerous buildings within the estate.

While carrying out the exercise, LABSCA maintained that they had previously served notice of the demolition to the residents, citing the lack of approval for building plans as the reason behind it.

However, the residents argue that the notice was inadequate, particularly considering the ongoing court case. Consequently, they find themselves unprepared for the sudden destruction of their homes.

Journalists who visited the estate paint a grim picture, with many buildings reduced to rubble and debris scattered across the streets.

Some homeowners, faced with losing their properties, have resorted to selling salvaged scraps and materials to scavengers. The sidewalks now display furniture and household appliances as a stark reminder of the residents’ abrupt displacement.

To compound the distress, armed policemen have been deployed throughout the estate, further heightening the atmosphere of tension and unease among the affected community members.

Numerous videos capturing the concerns of residents regarding what they perceive as a rushed and unlawful demolition have gained significant traction on various social media platforms.

These videos have shed light on the difficult situation faced by those affected by the actions of the state agency and law enforcement officials.

As the demolition continues in Hopeville Estate, residents find themselves grappling with uncertainty and the overwhelming task of rebuilding their lives.

One individual impacted by the demolition shared with Channels Television that the estate’s residents remain bewildered by the unfolding events.

According to this resident, who chose to remain anonymous, the estate had previously dealt with certain issues involving specific individuals and was in the process of resolving these challenges before the recent demolition.

“So we were in that process before suddenly on Friday we saw trucks of policemen and our armed policemen and bulldozers moving to the area without any notification to anybody and began to break people’s houses and homes everywhere,” the resident reportedly said.

He added: “Many people who were living in their houses were suddenly thrown out of their houses, and they had to sleep right on the streets through the night between Friday and Saturday; as the rain fell, most of the people were outside when the rain was falling in the middle of the night. The demolition has continued up till this time and it’s still we are at this point. We still don’t understand who is behind this and what is going on.

“They are claiming that it is from LABSCA. Nothing has been explained to us on why LABSCA is going through this.

“Because we know, even if you say people constructed without a permit, that there are processes of integrity tests that can be conducted to confirm whether the buildings are sound or not.

“And then there are penalties for people who have constructed, maybe without a permit to pay penalties to the government, and then we let their properties be in these difficult times. How can somebody, you know, choose this alternative as a better alternative breaking down, you can say, building nine flats? You know, there are so many people with our houses in Nigeria now, and you are trying to throw more people under the same pressure. This is just not acceptable.”

Several other individuals, whose experiences parallel his own, chose not to share their stories on camera due to the tense atmosphere and apprehension.

They mentioned negotiating with the authorities to salvage whatever they could, Naija News understands.

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