Lagos begins demolition of illegal gated streets
The Lagos State government, through its Task Force on Enforcement and Special Offences, has commenced the demolition of gated streets across the 57 Local Government Areas of the state.
The move is coming after a 14-day ultimatum, which expired last Sunday. The state had directed that residents of gated streets keep them open 5am to 12am.
A total of over 62 gates were marked for demolition. Twenty-eight of these in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area have already been removed.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Community Affairs, Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri, said the exercise became necessary after series of awareness campaigns on the need to adhere strictly to the directive. He said series of meetings were held with members of Community Development Committees (CDCs), Community Development Associations (CDAs) and the Executive Secretaries of the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to ensure that they were carried along.
Quadri said the gates constitute obstruction to traffic, especially in areas where they are on roads meant to serve as thoroughfares or alternative link routes.
“They prevent fire engines during fire outbreaks and police patrol vehicles from gaining access when they receive distress calls. We need to remove all the gates and barricades due to non-compliance by residents to the opening hours of 5am–12midnight and refusal to ensure they are manned from midnight to 5am by security personnel, who must always be on ground to open the gates during emergencies,” he said.
He advised communities yet to comply with the directive to do so before government moves to their areas.
The chairman, CDC, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Mr. Tunde Balogun, commended the state governor on the move, noting that the exercise is long overdue. He expressed optimism that with the removal of some of the gates, motorists held in traffic will enjoy access, while security agencies will be able to respond freely to emergencies.
A resident, Mrs. Ejioma Okoh, who described the exercise as a positive development, said: “I thank Governor Ambode for this. Majority of the streets here close their gates around 7pm, after which all motorists would be forced to start looking for alternative routes, causing distress.”
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