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86 Apartments, 86 Stories: Life under Ikoyi’s Dolphin Estate Bridge

The Dolphin Estate Bridge in Ikoyi casts a big shadow over a story of resilience, controversy and survival. At the center of this story is Gbenga Oluwafemi, fondly called “Mopol” – a name that is now known beyond just the estate. But behind the news headlines and government talk is a mix of human stories, each one showing a different side of life under the bridge.

In a recent video by News Central, Oluwafemi strongly denies claims that he charges very high rents from the 86 households living under the bridge. His words show a man deeply connected to Dolphin Estate, a man whose identity is tied to its very streets.

“I am ‘Mopol,'” he says firmly, his voice carrying the weight of years spent guarding the estate’s street lights. His presence is familiar to all who call Dolphin Estate home. But within his denials, a deeper story of struggling to survive emerges.

This struggle is felt in the voices of residents like Sola, who trembles as he talks about dealing with the famous “Mopol.” For Sola and many others, life under the bridge balances between having shelter and facing uncertainty, hidden from the tall buildings of Ikoyi.

But the individual dramas are part of bigger community issues and urban challenges. Major Olaniyi Olatunbosun Cole (retd.), former Commander against indiscipline in Lagos, condemns the alleged misuse of government property as pure sabotage, showing how serious it is.

The Lagos Environment Commissioner, Tokunbo Wahab, reveals the tough reality – rooms partitioned into just 10×10 and 12×10 spaces, a reminder of the cramped conditions under the bridge.

As this story unfolds, it becomes clear the issues go beyond just Dolphin Estate Bridge. They raise bigger questions about governing cities, economic inequalities, and the ongoing struggle for dignity despite hardship.

In the end, among the noise and debates, it is the human stories that remain – tales of survival, struggle, defiance and determination. And as the city changes and controversies fade, these stories stay in the memory of a community trying to make a home in the shadow of Dolphin Estate Bridge.

Izu Mgbaemena

I'm Izu Mgbaemena, a Nigerian-based writer for Naijadazz. I love sharing stories about Nigerian culture, food, music and more. As a frequent contributor to Naijadazz, I relish the opportunity to showcase the endlessly fascinating aspects of Nigerian culture to a global audience.