CITIZENS COMPASS —Highly distressed four floors building at 41 Sarki Street, Idiaraba, Mushin, Lagos marked for evacuation and demolition by the Lagos State Building Control Agency on Monday.
The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) on Monday partially demolished some distressed high-rise structures on Lagos Island and Mushin axis of the state, to prevent collapse.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Olaopa Olusoji, Director, Enforcement led LASBCA officials on assessment and partial demolition of structures.
NAN reports that at Lagos Island, the team alerted residents and traders of the popular Oke-Arin Street Market of the danger of extremely distressed four-storeys needing immediate demolition for safety of lives.
Traders and residents hurriedly removed property and wares as the team began tocking numbers 18,19 and 21, all of which are four floors.
They also toked an unnumbered two-storey building at Oke-Arin Street.
Toking is the process of partial demolition by perforation of walls to enforce compliance to either stop work or evacuate a building.
NAN reports that LASBCA removed doors of shops while traders were given opportunity to remove their wares and fittings from the shops.
Families living on various floors of a four-floor building at number 21 also removed their laundries while hurriedly packing personal belongings out.
One of the female tenants who fainted was resuscitated and returned into one of the buildings.
A civil servant, Mr Rabiu Jamiu, residing at 21, Oke-Arin St., said although it was painful evacuating without an alternative, he was happy to leave the house alive with his family.
Jamiu said he lived in the property for 13 years, adding that the house had more than one landlord, but the owner of his own apartment was late.
Life goes on because what if a sudden incident happens, that we are in the building and it collapses and we all die?
“God forbid it! but today, as they said we should move out at least, I still have one or two relatives where I can keep my load,” he said.
Thereafter, they moved to the adjoining Doherty Street where they partially demolished two slanted four-storey buildings merged with a supporting pillar.
During partial demolition of four of the high-rise buildings, some tenants said the developers promised that the houses would not be demolished till February 2024.
Mr Uche Amuche, who sells toilet paper in one of the shops, said they received information that the building would not be demolished till 2024, so they paid rent.
Amuche, a retired security guard, said that the government should monitor buildings from the foundation stage to save occupants heartache from future demolitions.
Also, the Chairman, Oke-Arin Community Development Association, Mr Abayom Aboaba, said the demolition was for their own safety, adding, ” We don’t have any objection, “
Aboaba said he informed traders and tenants of Oke-Arin and Doherty Streets of the planned demolition and educated them on the consequences of staying in distressed buildings.
At Garba Musa Street, Mushin, a four-storey building was partially demolished as neighbours and sympathisers gathered around the cordoned-off area.
At 41 Sarki St., Idiaraba, in Mushin, a four-storey massive building became a source of concern as the beams and pillars were already falling off.
Neighbours told journalists that some occupants were seen packing their belongings out of one of the apartments the previous night.
NAN reports that LASBCA removed some portions of the balconies and doors but did not toke for fear of total collapse .
Also, at Layi Oyekanmi Street, Ilasa in Mushin, two separate three floor buildings were also partially demolished.
Several other distressed buildings were sealed and marked for eviction and demolition.
Responding to the exercise, Mr Olaopa Olusoji, LASBCA Director of Enforcement, said the team carried out the job after service of statutory notices.
He said the partial demolition was to ensure people evacuated immediately for total removal of the highly distressed structures to take place, to prevent calamity.
“The fact is, nobody can actually say categorically when a building can go down. In fact, anybody under this condition is an unsafe condition and they are living under very high risk.
So, we don’t want to take chances; for us, it is better to save lives than argue over a period of time. They have been given due time in terms of notices served,” he said.