There is no end in sight to the controversy over the demolition of FESTAC Town market, mechanic village and worship centres in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), last week, demolished several property as part of moves to restore FESTAC Town.
The FHA, through its South West Zonal Manager, Mr Akintola Olagbemiro, explained that the demolition was aimed at restoring FESTAC Town which had been taken over by illegal structures.
Mr Olagbemiro said, “This year, we commenced restoration of FESTAC Town following the consent judgement from the court against illegal occupants. Our action is to save the residents from the insecurity that has taken over the entire FESTAC as a result of illegal structures everywhere.”
However, a coalition of human rights groups at the weekend, through its Chairman, Comrade Olusegun Adeeko, added its voice to the controversy, asking the FHA to implement the agreement reached and delivered as consent judgement between Mr Jola Ogunnusi and five others vs Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and 17 others.
The agreement stipulates that the Agboju Market and the mechanic workshop would be relocated to 6th Avenue prior to the reclamation of open spaces, playgrounds and recreation gardens.
According to Adeeko, the government has by its action denied the mechanics their daily livelihood with intention to turn them to kidnappers, bandits and okada riders.
Also speaking, the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), FESTAC Unit, said over 1,000 artisans had been rendered jobless by the action of the federal government, which they described as “illegal”.
The Chairman of the FESTAC NATA, Comrade Enikanoloma Yunusa, and Secretary, Comrade
Obinna Anthony, insisted that the demolition of their workshops failed to follow the principle of fair hearing.