Lagos State authorities have defended the ongoing demolition of structures in unauthorized areas within the state, asserting that the actions are in accordance with established legal principles. The statement comes in response to calls from Ohanaeze Ndigbo urging the suspension of the demolitions in light of received complaints.
Emmanuel Iwuayanwu, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, expressed concern over the demolitions, including those in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Iwuayanwu disclosed plans to meet with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to address the matter.
However, Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, emphasized that no one had come forward to claim unjust demolition of their property since the demolitions began. Omotoso clarified that the government’s actions were focused on structures encroaching on canals and drainage channels, essential for a city situated below sea level.
Omotoso stated, “The demolition has no color, no religion, no professional, gender, or ethnic bias to it. It’s based purely on the rule of law that people must get permits before they start any building project, whether residential or business.”
In response to Iwuayanwu’s concerns, Omotoso highlighted the importance of sustaining the rule of law for the development of a greater Lagos. He stressed that planning laws and regulations must be respected to prevent adverse consequences when natural elements react to abuse.
Moreover, Iwuayanwu announced plans to meet with the Lagos State Governor to discuss the issue and appealed for a temporary suspension of the demolitions until all facts are clarified. He also advised Igbo residents to adhere to legislations and local regulations to avoid property demolitions in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.
Additionally, Iwuayanwu mentioned Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s intention to establish an Ohanaeze Relief Agency, led by prominent Igbo leaders, with a mandate to provide support to fellow Nigerians in times of need, fostering a spirit of brotherhood.