Lagos — Drug peddlers and addicts have taken over the popular Allen Avenue and Alade Estate in Ikeja Local Government area of Lagos State and turned the entire axis into their full time joint.
Vanguard gathered that the once serene and exclusive neighbourhoods of Alade and Allen Avenue have become a haven where vices are carried out especially at night.
It was learned that some property owners have been forced to relocate after it became apparent that the security level within the axis has continued to deteriorate.
As a result, the residents, who do not have alternative accommodation, are said to be presently living in fear over the worsened level of insecurity within the axis which has now become a hideout for criminals.
The concerned residents lamented that daily, strange faces were often noticed within the axis with no previous link to the estate.
According to them, streets linking the estates, including Adegbeyemi, Afolabi Aina and Olorunnishola, have been taken over by street traders whose shanties have become hideouts for the alleged criminals.
Aside from the shanties becoming home to the hoodlums and drug addicts, the structures, residents lament has disfigured the beautiful and serene environment the residential area was previously known for.
Residents petition Sanwo-Olu
Worried by the continued invasion, the residents have petitioned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appealing that the drug peddlers and addicts be dislodged.
Their demands were contained in a petition titled: “Adegbeyemi, Afolabi Aina and Olorunnishola Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja Violation of Residential Character, Conversion To Street Trading, Nuisance, Environmental Pollution, Criminal Activities, Threat To Life and Property.”
In the petition signed by Alade Estate Resident Association and the chairman of the Estate Security Committee, Onogu Maxwell appealed for restoration of the community to its initial master plan.
Maxwell said: “It is depressing to see Alade, Allen Avenue area turned into an eyesore, the once beautiful, quiet and peaceful area have been turned otherwise with an in-flock of illegal street traders who have set up shops, shanties on drainage points and setbacks both for trading in the daytime, and sleeping purposes at night which has led to violation of residential character of the estate and its environs, thereby causing nuisance, environmental pollution, criminal activities, threat to life and property.
“Not only that, the okada riders have suddenly appeared from nowhere and hijacked a whole section of the road that leads into the estate. Illegal and indiscriminate dumping of refuse and defecation in open places has become the order of the day in every nook and cranny of the area, while some have even set up tents and make their homes by the roadside in Alade,” the petition stated.
“Though in 2016, when traders in Alade Market were relocated to the newly built alternative market, it was done to redevelop the original market place into a world-class shopping center. But three years after, the environment has been turned into an area where ‘street trading, illegal shanties and structures are now the order of the day.
“We believe this menace is an infringement on us as a people living in Alade estate and it has devalued our properties in total. It is no more clean and peaceful environment it used to be.”