Ogun State Commences Demolition of Shanties, Citing Safety and Development

The Ogun State Government in Nigeria has begun demolishing shanties and makeshift structures across the state. This initiative targets structures deemed to be environmental hazards and potential havens for criminal activity.

The exercise, led by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Farouk Akintunde, follows reported warnings issued to occupants in late 2023. The government claims these structures deface the landscape and contribute to insecurity.

“We issued notices since last year,” Akintunde explained, “but they refused to leave. The notices have expired. That’s why we’re here to demolish all makeshift structures, shanties, and illegal buildings.”

The demolitions started earlier this week along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a major artery connecting southwest Nigeria’s commercial hub with the nation’s capital. Authorities aim to improve the expressway’s aesthetics and address concerns about criminal activity within these settlements.

“Ogun State has a role to play in the economic advancement of the nation,” Akintunde remarked. “No serious investor will come here and partner with us with all these shanties and garbage.”

The demolitions have also extended to areas within Abeokuta, the state capital, impacting neighborhoods like Panseke, Kuto, and Nwarudeen. The government has framed this initiative as an ongoing effort to improve public safety and environmental sanitation.

The demolitions are likely to displace residents who depend on these structures for shelter and commerce. The human cost of this initiative remains to be seen, and it’s unclear if the government has plans to offer alternative housing or relocation assistance to those affected.


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