The once popular nightclub and hotel which played host to Lagos socialites in the 80s, Hotel Bobby, owned by the late popular musician, Bob Olabinjo Benson, a.k.a. Bobby Benson is set to assume a new status, with the recent move by the Lagos State to rebuild the property.
The property which is located between Onipanu and Fadeyi bus stops along Ikorodu Road, Lagos, has been a shadow of its former self after the death of Bobby Benson. Since the demise of the popular 80’s star, the structure has become a hide out for hoodlums and criminals, causing shame and embarrassment to his fans and residents of the area.
This led to a public outcry and subsequent government acquisition of the property. In response to that, the property is undergoing renovation for the use by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA). The L-shaped structure which is very close to completion is designed to accommodate the LASEMA Emergency Response Team, the Paramedics, and offices for dispatchers. The facility will also include an ample parking lot for emergency response equipment and vehicles.
Speaking on the development, the General Manager, LASEMA, Mr. Adeshina Tiamiyu told The Guardian that the abandoned hotel became a hideout for criminal elements who were known for unleashing terror on people around Fadeyi neighbourhood.
He said, “With the support of the family, government acquired the place for public good. What is springing up there is the LASEMA Response Unit Base where emergency response activity around that axis will be taken care of. This means that if there is any emergency activity on Ikorodu road, towards Yaba, Ebute-Metta, Surulere and Mushin and most especially Olateju area and Ilupeju, LASEMA can response and reach any of those places very quickly. It is a very good location for us to do our work”.
The facility is set to be commissioned by the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in September 2017.
On whether there was compensation paid to the family, the General Manager said: “That is beyond me. All I know was that the state government acquired that place. If there is no agreement between the family and the government of course you would have been hearing a lot of stories. I am sure the government must have done the needful”.