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We’ll Ensure Justice, Fairness in Demolition Exercise-LASG

Yemi Olakitan


The Lagos State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to making sure that everyone was treated equitably during the current demolition activity.


The State Government on Saturday, emphasized that it would not be selective in how the law was applied during the continuing destruction of illegitimate structures in Lekki Phase II and the surrounding area.


Tokunbo Wahab, commissioner for the environment and water resources, said that the state government was committed to seeing that justice and fairness were served to all equally when he made this statement on Saturday in Lagos.


Mr. Wahab, who was surrounded by beseeching owners and inhabitants of completely built structures erected on drainage setbacks and already designated for removal, claimed that delaying the demolition process would amount to applying two different standards.


The commissioner also mentioned that the blocks of duplexes that had already been demolished shared a drainage setback alignment with those that had yet to be taken down.


He declared that the state was committed firmly to recovering its drainage setback and reinstating its master plan.


Mr. Wahab said it was regrettable that the government had to make the difficult decision to demolish the completely developed buildings in order to reclaim the drainage setback and allow stormwater to freely flow through the region.


He claimed that the proprietors of the buildings torn down in Ikota were aware that they were in violation of the law.


The commissioner claimed that starting in 2020, when the majority of the structures were still at the foundation stage and several notices had been given, the owners had different interactions with the ministry.


The extent of encroachments in Ikota are “just unimaginable; people have built on the canal path and we resolved that these nuisances cannot continue; it just had to stop,” the official stated.


He claimed to have returned to the Ikota site and personally spoke with the owners of the unfinished buildings.


To avoid this, Mr. Wahab urged homeowners to acquire drainage approval in addition to other approvals before beginning their building projects.


“People cannot blame government for what they caused by their actions; whatever negative thing you do to the environment will come to haunt you eventually,” said the government. “This enforcement will be a continuous exercise.”


Speaking about the state’s major markets being shut down and then reopened, Mr. Wahab claimed that the markets had been shut down for violating the State Sanitation Laws.


According to him, before any market could be shuttered, its executives were given a list of requirements to meet before it could reopen.


We cannot permit our people to trade food commodities and other products in a filthy and unsanitary atmosphere, he said. “You need to see the unsightly state and scene in the markets before closure,” he said.


He declared that in order to guarantee the lives of vendors and customers in market spaces, the state government would conduct a safety audit in the markets through the safety commission.



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