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Okun-Ajah Community Accuses Tinubu Government of Demolishing 2,000 Houses for Lagos-Calabar Highway

FG to demolish 2,000 houses for coastal highway
FG to demolish 2,000 houses for coastal highway

Residents of the Okun-Ajah community in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State have accused the administration of President Bola Tinubu of planning to demolish over 2,000 homes to make way for the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

The community claims that the road’s alignment has been altered to favor a few influential personalities.

In a statement titled “Don’t Destroy Over 2,000 Families to Protect Privileged Five,” signed by Baale of Okun-Ajah Community, Sikiru Olukesi Okanlawon, and the Secretary, Balogun Kamorudeen, the community appealed to President Tinubu and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene.

They allege that the Ministry of Works, led by Minister Dave Umahi, has made illegal changes to the road’s alignment, endangering 2,000 homes.

The community leaders claim that the original route was altered to avoid land acquired by powerful individuals. The second proposed alignment, which was relatively free from buildings, was also changed. The current alignment would lead to the demolition of homes, including the community’s ancestral homes and the Oba’s palace.

The Okun-Ajah community, which was granted a Certificate of Occupancy in 2006, has avoided building on the land originally designated for the coastal road. They argue that the recent alignment change is unfair and benefits a few at the expense of many.

The community has called on lawmakers representing Eti-Osa, the Nigerian Bar Association, and the public to help prevent the demolition. They also urged the Inspector General of Police not to deploy police personnel to enforce the demolition.

“The action of the Minister is certainly not in the interest of peace, order, and good government of Nigeria in general and Lagos State in particular,” the statement read. The community has asked President Tinubu to investigate why the second alignment, which was free of significant development, was abandoned in favor of one that would cause widespread destruction.

The Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, a 700-kilometre project estimated to cost N15 trillion, is intended to be a 10-lane highway, reportedly the first of its kind in Africa. The construction has begun at Eko Atlantic City and will end at Lekki Deep Seaport, with N1.06 trillion already allocated.

Community members have vowed to defend their homes against what they describe as an unjust onslaught by the Ministry of Works.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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