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Agony, tears as LABSCA demolishes rows of shops in Lagos community

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Residents of Laurel School Cross, inside the Bungalow Estate axis, in the Jakande Estate area of Isolo Local Government Area, Lagos State, are counting their losses after task force officials from the Lagos State Building Control Agency demolished rows of lockup shops in their community.

Many of the affected residents, who are mostly petty traders, narrated that their sad ordeal started in the early Wednesday afternoon when dozens of LASBCA task force officials, alongside armed security officers, arrived with chainsaws and sledgehammers to demolish shops and community spaces.

When DAILY POST arrived at the scene on Thursday morning, many of the traders appeared traumatised as they tried to salvage some of their goods and other valuables from the debris.

Some of the traders alleged that they received no prior demolition notice from the government.

DAILY POST sighted a copy of LABSCA’s demolition notice posted on their website.

The notice said that owners/developers of identified structures are given a seven-day notice to demolish the structure, and that failure to do so will result in a LABSCA taskforce clampdown

The notice read partly, “UNDERLISTED Distressed Structures in the State shall be removed by Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) having served all the statutory enforcement notices in consonance with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development (Amendment) Law of 2019 and with no response from the respective Owner/Developer.

“Following the above, a final notice is hereby given that if the under-listed distressed structures are not removed within seven days (7) of this notice by their respective Owners/Developers in line with regulatory provision of the law, such Structure shall be removed.”

However, many of the affected victims who complained to DAILY POST, claimed that they did not get any Demolition Notice from the agency.

One of the affected residents, simply identified as Mrs John, tearfully lamented how her source of livelihood was reduced to rubbles within a few minutes.

She said, “I’m shocked at how these people (LASBCA and security officers) came in their numbers and suddenly started demolishing our shops. They did not give us any notice. They came here, marked our building, started removing all our goods and began demolishing all the shops here in Laurel Street.”

“I am a widow and we’ve been selling foodstuffs and provisions here for over 10 years. We are law-abiding citizens and have never had any issue with government agencies. But look at how they have treated us, where do I go from here,” Mrs John cried.

Another trader, who pleaded anonymity, also lamented that they never got any notice from LABSCA.

“l never knew the government could be this cruel to the poor. We don’t know what we have done to warrant this sort of treatment.

“I’ve been trading here peacefully for many years, we never got any demolition notice from the Lagos government. So when they came to destroy our shops, we begged them to give us a few days for us to move out our goods, but they said they’ve been given express orders to bring down our shops,” the woman lamented.

Responding to the allegations, LABSCA spokesperson, Mrs. Adetayo Asagba told DAILY POST that the shops were demolished because they were built under electric wires in the estate.

“LABSCA has consistently warned against building structures under high-tension. So the rows of shops were destroyed because they were built under high-tension, and they are all illegal construction,” she said.

“The occupiers in the shops were duly served notices before the demolition began. The last time they were served notices was last week”, Asagba added.

Agony, tears as LABSCA demolishes rows of shops in Lagos community

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