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After destroying Nigerians’ businesses, properties, Tinubu abandons multibillion Dollar Lagos-Calabar Highway

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Minister of Works, Engineer Dave Umahi, celebrate their "spoil"

The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led federal government has abandoned the multibillion Dollar Lagos-Calabar Highway, after destroying private businesses and properties of hapless Nigerians.

The Minister of Works, Engineer Dave Umahi, made the disclosure during the 3rd Stakeholders Meeting held in Lagos.

Citing reason for the abandonment, Engineer Umahi said the proposed project would no longer occur due to the submarine cables laid along the coastline.

It could be recalled that telecommunication companies warned the government of possible network outage if the government continues with the diversion.

Some of the Lagos private businesses and properties demolished include LandMark, Good Beach and Oniru Beach.

Other private properties also marked for demolition include some ancestral homes in Okun-Ajah community in Lagos.

According to Engineer Umahi, the government is now considering alternatives to ensure the continuation of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

The Minister, however, stated that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would not be available for now.

He referenced Section 15 (b) of the Freedom of Information Act as basis for government’s decision to withhold some information from the press and public.

The Section contains third-party exception which allows governments and/or institutions to withhold information.

Nigerians react

Nigerians have reacted in diverse ways following the announcement to discontinue Lagos-Calabar Highway project.

Below are a few reactions captured on social media:

Obiasogu David, @afrisagacity:

So, Engr. Dave Umahi suspiciously called for a Stakeholders Meeting for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal line for the 3rd time, in Lagos, to announce that Tinubu’s govt will no longer continue with the realignment for the Lagos-Calabar coastal line.

He said the reason to stop the realignment is that there are submarine (network) cables along the coastline that supply network, which are owned by telecoms. If the work proceeds, it will cut into the cables and affect network supply across the country.

Now, asides from the outrageous cost of this Lagos-Coastal coastal line, the major crisis surrounding the project was the demolition of Landmark beach and other multi-million Naira businesses around the coastal line in Lagos, due to the realignment.

It happened that the original design for the project didn’t include Landmark and these other businesses that were demolished. But, all of a sudden, Umahi and his team came up with another design that encroached on these business areas and marked them for demolition.

If you recall, during the 2nd stakeholders meeting, a female journalist challenged Umahi to present the Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) approval for the project. Umahi stammered and reluctantly said it’d be made available to the public, later.

For context, the EIA simply means a report that assesses the impact the project will have on the environment before it kicks off. So, if the report was available, everyone will see the impact of the coastal highway on the areas where it will cut across.

But, during today’s stakeholders meeting, Umahi made a U-turn and said that the plan would not be revealed to Nigerians anymore.

He cited the part of the Freedom of Information bill that gives the govt power to keep some certain information from the public.

Now, this is very funny and suspicious because the demolition of Landmark beach and the other businesses is a public matter that has direct impact on the public. So, why hide the EIA from the public when the information it contains is of huge public concern?

The owner of Landmark and the owners of the other business in the area made logical claims that the initial plan of the project didn’t encroach their business areas. But Tinubu’s govt paid no attention. They were forceful and desperate to demolish the businesses as though some forces were pushing them.

In quick turn, they served landmark and the others notice to vacate the area as it had been marked for demolition.

On April 28th, Umahi announced that the demolition had commenced. He further stated that day that the govt was planning on compensating all affected Businesses – including Landmark.

But again, in surprising twist, Umahi organized another stakeholders meeting on May 1st and announced to Nigerians that they had begun paying compensation of about N2.75 billion.

However, Landmark beach and the other businesses who were verifiably affected would not be part of the beneficiaries. He particularly mentioned two houses as being most affected. He said one of the houses was owned by one Mr Bolaji.

But the media have no details of these people who received the whopping sum of N2.75 billion compensation.

Now, in today’s meeting, Umahi announced that the Lagos-Calabar coastal line will no longer extend to the area where Landmark beach and the other demolished businesses were located – after destroying people’s businesses and sending suffering Nigerians out of their jobs!

The most hurtful truth is that, even before the demolition began, telecoms had told Tinubu’s govt that submarine cables were laid on the coastal lines where they encroached. Umahi and everyone in the team knew and yet, they’re bent on proceeding with the recklessness.

Now, businesses have been demolished, thousands sent out of job, N2.75 billion wasted on compensation, and billions wasted on the initial take off of the project.

Is this an honest mistake or was Tinubu looking for something else other than building a coastal line? .

Could his target have been met? – as the areas that were demolished have been taken over by the federal govt – and we all know who is in charge of the Federal govt?

CHIZOM, @iam_polymath:

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@DavidHundeyin already explained to anyone who cared to listen that this is about the Eko Atlantic project than it’s about any useless road.

The coastal road plan was just a ploy to grab land so that the value of the Eko Atlantic project will not be affected by surrounding structures.

It’s just how brazen this guy did it that makes it so funny.

James, @KD0Jimmy_Q:

In the future the narrative will be that Minister of Works Engr Dave Umahi from South East Nigeria not FG demolished landmark beach & resort owned by Arc Paul Onwuanibe from South East Nigeria & Britain for the purpose of creating a Coastal road which was questioned by the entire country over the necessity & location of that road & the implications on demolishing a tourist attraction center worth millions of dollars without EIA only to eventually say the project will be disembarked as alleged above due to unknown Submarine Cables that should have been identified & stated in the EIA demanded by the public previously. Welcome to 🇳🇬.

I am Voice of Hausa, @XpaceReporter:

It is now clear that Tinubu has an interest in the area and wants to evict everyone in order to take over the land, given how special the area is. It is safe to say that he was envious of the owners and wanted them out.

Ugowil 🇨🇦, @Ugowil:

When a coven is bent on cooking someone until the person dies nothing stops it unless God intervenes. Tinubu’s government is a gang of criminal devils who are on evil mission…

OnileGogoro, @codshalom77:

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The truth will eventually come out in few months or years… most likely by then, his Tinubu’s business partner and owner of HITECH the Chargoury’s would be displaying what their true intentions were!

Dayo, @dhanip_sarah:

This country makes you feel like you are living on a different plane. How can someone or a group of people have so much power to alter other people’s lives as they will, and get away with it, with no one to contend with them & win? It’s very scary thinking about our reality, tbh.

Samokwe, @samokwe:

How Tinubu and Umahi treated Landmark is heartbreaking. No conscience, no compassion.

Olorogunboy, @Olorogunboy:

The owners of the businesses that have been destroyed so far are perceived enemies of the Lagos Boys & the objectives of these boys have been fully achieved. That explains why your brother is doing these needless somersaults. They will NEVER build the coastal highway. That’s the plan.

Ogochukwu, @Uzorland:

@afrisagacity that 2.75b supposedly wasted on compensation might just be another money stolen.

Pablo Jamal, @sunkisstudios:

This is the same tactics he used in taking over Ajah, people who were in Ajah during Tinubu tenure can confirm this, till today many people lost their lands to Tinubu and his gangs. Go to Ajah and verify this.

Polls #My2Cents, @IamJasmine07:

There’s a lot behind this that’s not clear to the eyes. They surely know what they’re doing. Someone in the government is using his power to “deal” with some set of people.

Ifedi, @AnyadubaluIfedi:

Nobody makes a mistake that expensive. They had always known what they were doing and they consider every other thing collateral damage.


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