TO pave the way for construction of the Pen Cinema Bridge in Agege, the Lagos State Government yesterday embarked on the demolition of houses on its path.
The demolition started on Oba Ogunji Road, the bridge’s take off point. But the area mostly hit was around Pen Cinema. Many buildings, including those housing banks, a popular pharmacy, mobile phone shops and other business premises were pulled down.
The affected premises were marked in August. A stakeholders’ forum was held for all Agege residents in September to ensure their buy-in into the project.
About eight groups working on both sides of the road carried out the exercise. They were assisted by policemen.
Scavengers and hoodlums flocked the scene, rummaging through the rubble of the demolished houses. The development caused a traffic gridlock around Pen Cinema.
Many were seen removing zinc roofing materials, doors, frames, beddings and other items from the debris.
Some Hitech Construction Ltd workers were seen directing the exercise.
Several of the buildings, especially the business premises, were almost empty at the time of the demolition.
Those affected were seen trying to salvage their properties before the bulldozers moved in.
No one was willing to speak with reporters as they were busy packing their properties.
A government official, who pleaded not to be named, said the contractor undertook the exercise. He said the government had no hand in the demolition.
The government said in September that the bridge would be ready in December 2018.
Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development Adebowale Akinsanya said the Government had created alternative routes to ensure seamless traffic flow during the bridge’s construction.
See images from the exercise below: