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Lagos-Calabar highway: Umahi directs closure of Landmark beach, begins demolition of shanties

David Umahi, minister of works, has flagged off the demolition of structures on the government’s right of way for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway.

In an interaction with journalists on Saturday, the minister said no structure belonging to the Landmark beach resort was demolished, adding that only shanties erected on the government’s right of way were affected.

“Landmark has unfortunately made so much noise about this. I have revisited the place, and I can say none of his infrastructure is affected. Just the shanties are affected and they are bulldozed already. We are passing our coastal bridge within the right of way of the federal government,” he said.

“I have directed that the beach should be shut down for tomorrow and there is no beach. The place is owned by people who are sand filling it, and at the end of the day, there is no more beach.

“Those who are playing politics with it can go ahead. My job is simple: to pass the coastal road. It’s in a right-of-way within the coastal corridor which is the legitimate right-of-way of the federal government.”

The minister said those affected by the demolition will be adequately compensated, adding that documentation will start on May 2-3.

Bolaji Ariyo, chief executive officer of Mami Chula Beach, said he shared the project’s vision “even if it causes inconvenience for a small number of people”.

“I understand when a government is promising to make life easy for the entire Nigerians. Some of us are affected, no doubt about it, but those affected are not up to 0.1% of the millions that will enjoy the coastal roads,” Ariyo said.

“That’s why people like me have taken it to heart to also support Mr President and the honourable minister to ensure that this road comes to life.”

Employees of Landmark recently staged a protest against the sand filling of the beach for the road construction.

The Cable

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