December 2017 will remain fresh on the minds of residents of Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA of Ikorodu division when the bulldozers and caterpillars of a state contractor, who is to handle the rehabilitation of the road came calling in an unexpected and unannounced manner.
On a visit to the site, our correspondent engaged many of the affected residents who berated the Lagos state government for pulling down their homes few days to the annual Christmas celebrations. Our follow up investigations also revealed that, many of the affected residents has been hibernating inside churches, mosques and a few ‘lucky’ ones have been co-habiting with family and friends.
While the efforts of the Lagos state government to bring development, through the road expansion works to Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA is commendable, what is worrisome is the manner in which the demolition exercise was carried out, without providing alternative shelter for the affected residents.
Some residents who spoke to Ikorodu Oga Radio blamed their pathetic situation on the hurried manner in which the demolition exercise was carried out without any human face to the plight of the people. Investigations also revealed that, compensation is yet to be paid to hundreds of affected property owners in the community.
It has been exactly six months since the massive demolition exercise was done, and Igbogbo-Bola Tinubu-Oreyo road has remained the same, or probably worse off, compared to how it looked before the demolition exercise.
The question on many lips is why would the state government hurriedly embark on the demolition exercise, without matching efforts to commence construction works on the road, over six months after displacing occupants of most of the affected buildings.
Ikorodu Oga Radio spoke to some residents and stakeholders of the Igbogbo community and some of them bared their minds on the slow spate of construction work on the road.
A resident, who pleaded anonymity, condemned the slow pace of work, describing the current pace of work as being done with snail speed. He further wondered why the massive zeal with which the demolition exercise was done has waned, six months after.
Another resident, who is also a community leader, berated the slow pace of work on the road. According to her, ‘they only raised our hopes for nothing. The level of work on the road is worse than being slow. To make matters worse, they have left out the left hand side of the Igbe road. They are only working towards Ginti side of the road’.
‘When they were planning to award the road, they told us that they will extend the construction works to Igbe road junction, but now, the contractors said it was not included in their brief. We are currently mobilizing our joint community development association; CDA of Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA will soon stage a massive protest to the governor’s office in Alausa to express our dissatisfaction’, she added.
A reliable source from the community however disclosed that the contractors complained of non-release of funds by as the reason for the slow pace of work.