Squatters, illegal motor parks given ultimatum to relocate from Obalende

The Lagos state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, in company of his Transportation counterpart, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, on Sunday in furtherance of the quest for a sustainable environment gave a four days relocation notice to all squatters under the Obalende bridge as well as illegal motor parks operators and buses who have moved to the main road. 

Wahab made this known to newsmen after a visit with his counterpart to the area in the early hours on Sunday.

Both commissioners, who were with the Special Adviser on Environment, Kunle Rotimi-Akodu; and Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa; Chairman of Special Task Force on Restoration of Blue Line Corridor, Bayo Sulaiman, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr Mahmood Adegbite; and other heads of agencies, inspected Apongbon Underbridge, Obalende, Ijora Underbridge and Surulere opposite National Stadium.

Wahab said all shanties and their dwellers, traders, squatters, cattle rearers and  abandoned vehicles presently under Obalende bridge must vacate the area by Thursday afternoon as enforcement would commence in the early hours of Friday morning. 

He added that all the commercial vehicles operators who have turned the main roads in Obalende into parking lots should relocate to the various parks provided for them because the government has had enough of the defacement of the aesthetics of Obalende by the operators and it must be restored. 

Wahab, who was flanked by his counterparts in the Lagos State Executive Council, said there was going back on the marching order to the squatters and motorists in Obalende, which informed the presence of the helmsmen from the transportation sector.

The Commissioner, who also inspected the level of work on the clean up of Apongbon UnderBridge, also visited Ebute Ero and others areas, asking state officials monitoring them to ensure full compliance with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive that there should be no form of trading or habitation under the bridge and all adjoining areas.

He said: “I will like to state that I am happy with the level of compliance at Ijora, Apongbon and Ebute Ero under bridge where the cleanup exercise commenced two weeks ago. 

“The government is set to sustain the clean and safe environment.

“In a matter of months, the space will be taken over by LASPARK.”

Wahab said Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency would move in after the squatters have been removed to commence work on the beautification and landscaping of Obalende under bridge, Apongbon Under bridge, Ebute Ero under bridge, stressing that this clean up exercise would spread to everywhere  bridges exist across the state. 

He added: “Most of the places cleaned up are notorious sites that harbour criminals, thereby becoming threats to the Blue line rail project bridges that pass through Ijora and one that the state government has invested huge resources in.”

Earlier at the Ilubirin end of Lagos Island, the Commissioner said Ilubirin is strategic because the government is set to regenerate Isale Eko and to do that there is the need to get the outflow of water through the Ilubirin path.

He recalled that the governor was at Isale Eko late last year with the promise of regeneration, adding that the contractor needs to speed up the pace of work to ensure that the project is completed before the rain commences.

Osiyemi said the Ministry of Transportation’s collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has been beneficial to the State Government in delivering its mandate.

He stated that a park existed at Obalende for the use of motor park operators, but had been taken over by shanties and squatters, adding that immediately the clean up is effected, the park operators will be compelled to take over their parks and move away from the roads.

Rotimi-Akodu said the objective of the exercise was clear, adding that the government means well for the people of Lagos and as such the beauty of the State will definitely be restored.

He said: “The clean up of exercise is necessary because illegal occupiers threaten the security and hinder economic survival in the state. 

“The yearning of the people is what the government is out to achieve.”

He urged all the citizens to ensure that they cooperate with the state government in its bid to sustain a cleaner and healthier Lagos.

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