Ambode urges Buhari to disband federal task force in Lagos
LAGOS State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the Presidential Task Force Implementation Committee on Encroachment of Federal Government Landed Property in the state.
Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, alleged that members of the task force were carrying out “duties inimical to the interest of the state and Federal Government in Lagos.”
In a related development, the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences yesterday clamped down on street trading around Oshodi, and in the process, dislodged several traders occupying roadsides.
The new chairman of the task force, Olubukola Abe, said the exercise would continue until sanity is restored to the ever-busy Lagos commerce corridor.
The governor’s call for the dislodgement of the federal task force is coming on the heels of several petitions on the nefarious and reprehensible activities of the task force.
According to him, the task force, which existence and legality was still in doubt, has unlawfully embarked on a brazen seizure, take over and appropriation of state and Federal Government property, adding that the activities of the task force have left in its wake a near total destruction, displacement, stoppage, including unprovoked mass harassment, intimidation, molestation and denial of the original owners of the land and property.
Ambode, who expressed concern that the activities of the task force are coming despite their knowledge of an existence of a consent judgment duly entered into by the same committee and some of the petitioners on one hand and an order of interlocutory injunction granted by the High Court of Lagos State, with the restraining orders widely published in newspapers, called on President Buhari to immediately disband the task force so as to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
Abe, who lead a team of policemen and officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) to comb Oshodi yesterday, forced several packed commercial buses to exit the main expressway, as well as pulling down illegal kiosks that were stationed outside the designated trade zone.
He told reporters that he was not out to arrest offenders, being his first official visit, but on a sensitisation tour to dislodge the Oshodi traders “who have gone back to their old ways.”
He said: “We will not sleep in enforcement of law in Lagos State. Whatever had brought us back to this stage will be adequately corrected with the collaboration of all the stakeholders involved. “We have found that when all these link roads are blocked, the effect is gridlock on the main road. This gives room to miscreants to unleash terror on the commuters.
We will have to urgently organise a meeting with all market men and women and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), among others, to restore sanity to Oshodi. “In as much as we want to be conscious of people’s right under the law, we want to assure them that we will be very firm in our law enforcement duties.”
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