Lagos To Demolish Houses In Ifako-Ijaiye Gorge

•Some of the houses marked for demolition

•Some of the houses marked for demolition

Hundreds of houses built in the gorge in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria are to be demolished by the state government.

Residents of the area built illegal structures in the deep gorge where water flow when it rains, which can cause flooding and other disasters, especially during the rainy season.

Following a landscape picture of the illegal structures published in one of the dailies, officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA and the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LABCA, visited the area on Monday to assess the physical planning of the area.

In Ajala Bello Street, one of the streets in the gorge, many houses were built on the right of way of drainage flow.

•Some of the houses marked for demolition
•Some of the houses marked for demolition

When questioned by the officials, residents of the area said they have been living in the deep gorge for over a decade and that local government officials usually collect money from them.

LASEMA General Manager, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, ordered officials of the ministry to begin enumeration of people living in the gorge, while quit notices should be served occupants of the houses without approved plan and the necessary land documents.

Oke-Osanyintolu said enumeration of the houses and residents in the gorge would be completed within 96 hours and that government would take decisive action to remedy the situation and avert disaster, especially during this rainy season.

“We are working with stakeholders, but right now people should be calm. Enumeration is the first thing and other things will follow. We got to know about this within 24 hours and we are already acting on it and we are on top of the situation,” he said.

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General Manager, LABCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun, said there was no way the Physical Planning and Urban Development Ministry could have issued approval for building of illegal structures in a gorge.

“There is a lot of work to be done and we are working. We are here to create awareness and we are coming back. We have seen the place and approved plan cannot be given for the building of such structures,” she said.

She added: “All structures in the gorge are illegal and we are going to ask their owners to provide approval documents. We have site layout and we will put our action plan into use. We are on top of the situation.”

Chairman, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Dr. Oloruntoba Oke, lamented that the people in the gorge violated the planning laws of the state and that the council had warned them severally to desist from building of structures without approved plan.

Residents in the gorge have appealed to the state government not to demolish their structures, saying that flood does not disturb them.

A woman, who craved anonymity told P.M.NEWS that she and her husband built their house in the gorge over 10 years and that the land was sold to them, while appealing to government not to demolish their property.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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