Chimobi Ezenwa, a Lagos resident whose mansion said to be worth N300 million was demolished, says he is now homeless.
The administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently commenced the destruction of houses said to be in contravention of Lagos masterplan.
There have been speculations that a particular ethnic group is being targeted as a result of the last election, but the government has denied this.
In a video trending on social media, one of the numerous persons affected by the demolition, said his house was pulled down without prior notice.
“My name is Chimobi Ezenwa and I am one of the victims of the ongoing demolition here in Abule Ado, Lagos.”
“This is my property, it has been demolished and there was no notice before encroaching on my property and destroying it. Even if I didn’t have an FHA (Federal Housing Authorities) allocation, if they asked me to pay for reclaiming of the land, I was ready to pay.
“They destroyed my property worth over 300 million here and now my kids are homeless, I don’t know what to do next. Some of my neighbours are in the hospital due to stroke, things are happening. So we are appealing to the government to help us stop the demolition going on at Abule Ado. The kids are in the hospital, please, I am begging. I call on the presidency to do something about this.
“Look at some people’s properties, even if they said some houses were built on the road, they are done demolishing those houses. Why enter into the streets where people are living? Now, children are homeless and cannot even go to school.
“About four people died as a result of heart attack. We have lost lives. My wife is also in the hospital because she can’t bear this. I am very very confused and homeless. There is an ongoing committee that has been making calls but there is no response yet but we are praying to get a response because there is still ongoing demolition right here as I speak.”
Williams Ochemba, another landlord whose house was pulled down, said, “Surely there have been negotiations between the landlords for long. We have been discussing for better understanding.
“They threatened to carry out the demolition but we reclaimed it from the swamps and invested on it till this level only to find out that it belongs to the Nigerian government, then we started a negotiation with them and we felt things would not go this way.
“All along, we have been saying please consider us, let this exercise have a human face cause we invested here ignorantly, and let there be an understanding between both parties, the families and the FHA. They then came to us and told us what we should do and we were willing to do.
“Although mine has been demolished, let others not be moved into the streets like myself. Let it stop while we negotiate and understand each side. I have been walking in the streets and sleeping in the open. I have mosquito bites all over. This is for a lot of people, not only myself. Landlords, and house owners, we have been rendered homeless.”