Scores of artisans along Mile 12/Ikorodu Road in Lagos, have been counting their losses following the demolition exercise carried out by the Federal Government at the Weigh Bridge end of the road.
scores of structures were demolished in the early hours of Saturday leaving some of the artisans stranded.
It was learnt that the exercise was carried out through the Federal Ministry of Works ably assisted by Lagos State Environmental and Special Offense Unit (Taskforce).
The structures mainly makeshifts and stalls were owned by artisans and food vendors but all were demolished before their owners arrived for the day’s activities.
Some of the victims, mostly men, expressed diverse experiences at the scene.
Some claimed they were served ample notices by the government while some said they were only issued three days Removal Notice.
Speaking with newsmen, an auto technician, Omoleye Alabi said he has been making moves to relocate to a nearby space in the past six months..He said, “I have been telling my customers that I may vacate here anytime because of the Removal Notice by the government,”
Another artisan, Shuaib Ahmed said he has removed all his tools from the place before now. “I have removed all my tools and told my apprentices to get ready because demolition can take place anytime,”
Also, a food vendor Madam Aweni Atinsola said she has removed some important items before weekend.
However, the chairman of the artisans, Mr. Razaq Ashafa claimed he was caught unawares. “I have been occupying this place since 1999 paying permit to local, state and federal governments and none deemed it fit to notify us before demolition was carried out. How can government treat us like this ?”
It was gathered that about a week ago that, the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola visited the area to address some questions raised by some of the occupants.
In a telephone conversation, Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr Olukayode Popoola confirmed that the exercise was carried out by the Ministry, saying notices have been issues since two years ago followed by follow-up and three days Removal Notice last week.