Some house owners in Okesa area of Ado Ekiti were in tears Thursday evening as government bulldozers commenced demolition of more structures in the area to accommodate an outer road for the ongoing flyover project.
The demolition exercise which was personally supervised by Governor Ayo Fayose started at about 4.30 pm and continued till dusk reducing the buildings to rubbles.
The governor who sported a white T-shirt had his convoy parked by the roadside while the demolition was going on.
The exercise started at Fajuyi area where structures including the fence and security post of the State High Court complex, Cathedral Church of Emmanuel (Anglican Communion) were marked for demolition.
Those who wept said it was inconceivable to see their ‘ancient’ buildings reduced to rubbles within minutes
The affected buildings including many shops in the Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA) Shopping Complex had earlier been marked for demolition weeks before the exercise commenced.
The two bulldozers kept roaring and busy with demolition until rains started at about 5.40 pm which temporarily halted the exercise. The exercise continued after the rain ceased till it became too dark to continue.
Many of the landlords and house owners had started removing their roofing sheets and other over the weekend till Wednesday afternoon after entreaties to convince the government to halt the demolition failed.
Some of the residents staged a peaceful protest Thursday last week claiming that they had no alternative place to go and that government reneged on the initial agreement of 15 meter setback and came out with a new benchmark of 30 meters to the main road.
The protesters said “the demolition will render many old people living and trading in the buildings homeless and turn them to refugees in their home land.”
Some of the affected landlords were grumbling that it was unfair that they were not paid compensation by the government. Others who had extended structures to their original buildings were among those who were not compensated.
One of the landlords whose demolished building had six shops complained that the compensation if N500, 000 given him was too small.
It was also learnt that some of the demolished shops had been leased for many years to Igbo traders who had been displaced by the demolition.
The demolition was supposed to have commenced on September 12 but it was halted because it fell on the Eid el Kabir day.
The exercise which will extend to Ojumose area of the city is expected to continue Friday.