Juliana Francis


Many Nigerians residing in Lagos State may be out of
jobs and homes, following the demolition of two mechanic villages in the state
by the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offenses Unit (Taskforce).

In a statement signed by the taskforce Director, Press
and Public Affair, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, it mentioned that the agency demolished
two illegal mechanic villages and evicted their occupants.

It, however, never mentioned where the occupants had
been given as an alternative or relocated to continue with their work.  

The affected villages are located at Festac, opposite
Area E Police Station and Maroko powerline. The agency explained that the
villages were located under high tension cables and were cleared as part of the
state governments’ commitment and effort to safeguard the lives of its
citizenry and beautify the state, to have a serene, safe, and secure
environment based on the existing masterplan of the state.

Abdulraheem said the clearing up exercise which took
place simultaneously on Saturday morning was supervised by the Chairman of the
Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye who disclosed that a series of warnings and notices
were served to the illegal occupants of both locations, but they allegedly were
adamant to relocate, hence the need for the Agency to take the drastic measure
to save the state from environmental degradation.

Jejeloye said: “The exercise was necessary to further
help beautify the state and reduce the habitat of street urchins and hoodlums
who usually make use of such locations as a safe haven after perpetrating
crimes and nefarious activities in town. Any human activities under the High-Tension
cables are suicidal, and no responsible government will watch her citizenry die
an avoidable and careless death without taking a precautionary measure to stop.”

The Maroko powerlines which were also cleared up by
the Agency were marked by the State Government for beautification project which
will further translate to greener Lagos as part of T.H.E.M.E.S. The agenda of
Mr. Governor is to achieve zero tolerance for Environmental degradation in the


Jejeloye highlighted the need for such actions due to
the incessant environmentally challenging activities carried out by the
occupants who defecate openly and burn refuse indiscriminately.

He stated: “Residents complain regularly about the
constant burning of refuse and tyres by the illegal occupants. Actions like
these are hazardous to one’s health and harmful to the environment. It will no
longer be tolerated once this exercise is concluded.”

He explained that the State Government would move into
these locations immediately to begin the developmental action plans which the
sites were originally mapped for. He, however, promised Lagosians that Shanties
and Illegally occupied land in the State would no longer be a hiding place for
criminal elements as they would be taken by the State Government in due time.

Consequently, Jejeloye had initiated serious
discussions with relevant Government Agencies in ensuring the allocation of the
large expanse of land for mechanic villages in all the nook and crannies of the
State, particularly around Ibeju-Lekki axis to discourage the haphazard and
illegal development of mechanic villages in the State.

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