You are currently viewing Demolitions: Our actions are not based on emotion or ethnicity, Governor Sanwo-Olu clarifies

Demolitions: Our actions are not based on emotion or ethnicity, Governor Sanwo-Olu clarifies

In a recent media chat, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu addressed concerns surrounding urban renewal initiatives and safety measures in Lagos State.

Responding to allegations that some government programs disproportionately affected certain socio-economic groups, the governor reiterated the administration’s commitment to inclusive governance and public safety.

“It’s important to clarify that our actions are not sectional,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated. “We are focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents, regardless of their background or ethnicity.”

The governor highlighted recent incidents, including a building collapse and a fire in an 18-storey building, emphasizing that these events underscore the need for robust emergency response and urban planning strategies.

“These incidents are not about ethnicity; they are about safety,” he explained. “Our priority is to create a city where everyone can live safely and prosper.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu outlined several measures taken by the government to address safety concerns and maintain infrastructure standards. He mentioned the clearance of rights-of-way to prevent encroachment and ensure compliance with building regulations.

“We have cleared rights-of-way in various areas to prevent obstructions and maintain accessibility,” the governor stated. “These actions are essential for enhancing the livability and sustainability of our city.

“By the way, TimeOut magazine rated Lagos State as the 18th preferred city to live in the world. That didn’t happen by sitting back and not taking action.

“Although the right decisions are often the most difficult ones, they are necessary to keep the city safe for all of us.”

Regarding ongoing infrastructure projects, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized the importance of addressing informal settlements and illegal structures that pose safety risks.

“Lagos is below sea level and water needs to flow freely. Some government officials even had their houses affected. We won’t demolish your entire house if it’s not necessary. If only one room out of a four-bedroom flat is obstructing the free flow of water, we will only demolish that and leave the rest. You can reconstruct and return to your three-bedroom home.

“Because we need to rescue the city. If not, not only would we be doing the country a disservice, but Lagos also controls 65% of international traffic. So, we need to continue to ensure that we have control, not just in name, but in our response and in our ability to maintain the city.

“We went around clearing; you saw what we removed from Ijora, Obalende, and other areas. We’ve also undertaken a massive rail infrastructure project, and underneath those bridges, you’ll find people living there and in other unregulated spaces. These are mostly responsible for traffic robberies. Some of them emerge and rob people on Eko Bridge.

“Last year at Apongbon, there was a fire incident due to the activities of these illegal structures under the bridge, which closed the bridge for nine months, halting economic activities in the process. No responsible government would stand idly by and allow such things to happen.

“So, for us to go back and clear these areas is necessary to ensure that illegal structures do not continue to exist.

“We don’t even have the funds to rebuild those infrastructures again. So, we must protect what we have to ensure that these buildings can last 100 or 120 years. We’ve only just begun.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu assured residents that government actions, through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources’ drive for a cleaner, healthier and safer environment, are not motivated by ethnicity or discrimination. He emphasized the need for collective responsibility in upholding city regulations and fostering harmonious coexistence.

“But what I can assure is that nobody is being targeted based on race, gender, colour, or ethnicity; I can guarantee that.

“And please, if you know of anyone who may have been treated unfairly, I’ll apologize if such a situation occurred, but we will rectify it immediately. We will never allow such occurrences to define who we are and how we govern this space.

“But it is crucial for all of us to understand that we’re all co-habiting here, and we need to jointly respect the rules. That is all we’re about, and that is what we’re trying to do,” Governor Babajide affirmed.

Leave a Reply