Securing the right of way for the proposed Agege Flyover Bridge went underway on Monday, with massive demolition of all structures along the roadside.
The demolition is t pave way for the construction of the bridge, which the government said would be delivered by December next year.
Though the demolition started along Oba Ogunji road, where the bridge is supposed to take off, the area badly affected was around Pen Cinema, with all houses, including banking halls, a renowned pharmaceutical centre, and a number of mobile phone retail outlets as well as other business premises were pulled down.
The affected premises had been marked since August, and a stakeholders forum held for all Agege residents in September to ensure their buy-in into the project.
No fewer than eight demolition gangs scattered on both sides of the road were seen pulling down structures on both sides of the road on Monday. They were assisted by a detachment of police officers.
Scavengers and hoodlums were also seen mobbing the demolition scene in an attempt to scavenge from the rubbles of the demolished structures. The development caused a heavy traffic gridlock around Pen Cinema.
Many were seen taking zinc roofing materials, doors, door frames, beddings and other personal effects from the affected structures. Many surveyors, believed to be working with Messrs Hitech Construction Ltd were seen clutching government documents, ostensibly demolition permits, and directing the extent of demolition in line with approved permits.
Several of the buildings, especially the business premises were almost empty as at the time of the demolition on Monday.
Several persons affected by the demolition were however seen trying to safe whatever remains of their property before the bulldozers pulled down the obstructing structures.
No one was willing to speak with journalists as they were seen packing away their property.
A government official who however spoke on condition of anonymity said the exercise was carried out by the contractor. He said the government had no hand in the demolition.
The government had in September announced that the project which was one of the ways to decongest traffic around the Pen Cinema will be delivered in December 2018.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development Engineer Adebowale Akinsanya said government after thorough reconnaissance survey have created alternative routes to serve as by-pass from the construction zone and to ensure a seamless flow of traffic while the construction is ongoing.
He said: “In order to minimise the inconvenience to road users that ply this route during the construction, alternative routes for traffic diversion have been identified to serve as by-pass from the construction zone as well as ensure seamless flow of traffic while the construction activities are ongoing within this corridor.”