Lagos-Calabar Highway Realignment Sparks Outrage After Demolitions

Outrage has followed the federal government’s decision to divert the multi-billion-dollar Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project following demolitions of multi-million-dollar properties, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

Public Works Minister Dave Umahi revealed this at the third stakeholders meeting in Lagos on Thursday, stating that the proposed diversion would no longer occur due to undersea cables along the coast.

He spoke while addressing stakeholders on compensation and environmental impact assessment of the coastal road project, particularly the Okun-Ajah community in Lagos.

Earlier, the Okun-Ajah community had shouted and warned the federal and Lagos State governments over the alleged illegal variation of the route of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway which put six villages at risk of demolition and also displacement of three traditional kings within the territory. community if the plan were not filed.

Our correspondent reports that previous demolitions carried out affected the beachfront of private businesses, including LandMark Beach.

The Landmark Resort and Beach, the sprawling $200 million hospitality and leisure beach, according to the owner, was hardest hit when the federal government bulldozed properties in the right-of-way.

Other affected beaches were Mami Chula Beach, Breeze Beach Club, Moist Beach and G12 Oniru Beach.

Apart from the businesses that have been affected, many ancestral homes along the coastline cry out for imminent extinction.

Umahi, addressing stakeholders, said: “If we stick to the new alignment, 490 houses would be demolished; In addition, following the alignment of the bulletin, 750 homes would be demolished.

“There is no lineup change; We are following the published alignment. However, a 25 kilometer realignment will be carried out in the Okun Ajah area of ​​the state to avoid damaging the submarine cables.”

Umahi revealed that President Bola Tinubu had been invited to signal along the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

The FG’s announcement sparked anger and outrage, especially on social media, over the diversion of the controversial project.

Odogwu Anioma (@jidifeanyi) said: “In a healthy climate, the minister would have resigned after demolishing businesses he shouldn’t have because he didn’t do due diligence.”

Oluwasoromidayo (@SOromi) tweeted that “Until we have a system to which governance in Nigeria is accountable, we will always repeat the same process and expect a different result, MADNESS.”

For his part, Adewale ‘Damilare said: “It is sad that a so-called engineer who presents himself as Minister of Works could not control the roads before demolishing people’s businesses.

“We are deprived of reasonable leaders as a nation!”

In a statement posted on its X handle, Landmark Africa (@landmarkafrica) described the demolition as devastating.

“We are focused on working with the government to receive the appropriate compensation needed to boost the remainder of the once-thriving land portion of the Landmark Ecosystem and a new family beach in a different coastal location.