LAGOS State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce), on Thursday, dislodged squatters, illegal occupants and arrested a yet to be disclosed number of suspected miscreants for flouting environmental laws around the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
Also, the agency cleared some shanties along Lekki-Marwa Coastal road, Sapphire Tower, and Blue Water Area of Lekki -Epe Expressway road to allow free flow of traffic and promote a crime free society in the axis.
The operation was led by the Taskforce Chairman CSP Shola Jejeloye who addressed his men and the residents of the area said that the State is no longer a home for miscreants and haphazard development or shanties.
He said the state can only accommodate people with positive thinking of making the State a mega city of first choice in the world.
According to him, “It is unthinkable to see people residing or sleeping in a place that is not fit for animals, we will make the State uninhabitable for all the serial law breakers and criminals’ ‘, he stated.
The Chairman said the operation was in line with Lagos State T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of making Lagos a 21st Century economy through creative robust tourism assets, improving physical infrastructure and Security.
Jejeloye stated that The State Government had given the illegal occupants series of notices in previous years and also carried out a demolition exercise of the same location in order to allow for free flow of traffic, beautification exercise and boost creative economy through development of Tourism assets in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda of the State for a greater Lagos, but the large expanse of land had since been re-occupied by squatters and illegal occupants erecting structures and makeshift buildings which are not in tune with making Lagos achieving her Mega City status.
The Chairman stated “We have been here severally to demolish these illegal structures impeding free flow of traffic and construction of alternate road. The area is becoming a breeding ground for miscreants and hoodlums who engage in traffic robbery along this route and we will make sure we flush them out completely”.
Jejeloye said that the Agency had cleared over 25 Shanties last year, while the residents were charged to court for violating environmental laws.
In furtherance, he stated that he will leave no stone unturned in carrying out proper environmental monitoring and cleansing of shanties, just as he did last year when shanties at Railway Line, Ijora, shanties along White Sand, Breweries and Shanties at Iwaya in Yaba axis were all cleared. “These shanties were built haphazardly without any form of environmental provision for waste disposal or drainage channels. That is the reason you see most of these areas were flooded and overwhelmed whenever it rains. We will not condone it any longer” Jejeloye noted.
He highlighted that “Wetlands which are very common attributes of a Coastal State like Lagos, if not properly managed could worsen the flooding usually experienced during rainy season. We will ensure they are not encroached upon by illegal occupants, that is the reason we partnered with other MDAs to reclaim wetlands like Odo-Iyalaro”. He stated.
“We are fully committed to ensuring that these miscreants are evicted from this place and we will make sure this exercise is effective, efficient and continuous until the State vision of a serene, secured and Tourist friendly environment is achieved, utilized and enjoyed by all Lagosians.
The removal of shanties and the ongoing enforcement for compliance activities in all the nook and crannies of the state is part of the efforts of the Government to rid the State of shanties, miscreants and compel compliance of all cases of environmental laws violations.