Lagos demolition not targeted at any group — Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, has refuted claims that the ongoing demolition by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is targeting South-Easterners.

According to Olumide, the demolished buildings in the state were constructed without approval from any of its agencies, and they were hastily erected during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

He made this known while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.

There have been unverified claims on social media that the demolition target people from the south-eastern part of Nigeria.

When the anchor asked him whether the demolitions were targeted at South Easterners as being speculated, he said, “Anybody can own building in Lagos so long as you go along with the laid-down rules. It’s unfortunate that maybe what we have of recent happens to concern those from certain parts of the country.

“Those buildings causing this uproar are buildings rushed during the COVID period when activities of enforcement officers are at the low ebb because of restriction of movement and you could see that when those buildings were demolished, nobody has come forward to say they were demolished under approval.”

Olumide challenged any of the owners of the demolished structures to come forward with their building approvals.

“We will not demolish any approved building, that’s for sure. So, if there is anybody that has claims that their buildings were approved and demolished, let them come forward,” Olumide said.

He stressed that illegal structures on the drainage system would be pulled down.

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“Buildings not done within the confines of the law are subject to demolition,” Olumide noted.

In October the Lagos State government announced the removal of perimeter fences within two metres of drainage channels on the Norman Williams, Awolowo and Ribadu roads in the Ikoyi area of the state.

The Lagos State government mayalso demolish illegal structures on the drainage system in the Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa, and Oral Estate II along the Ikota River of the state on Monday.

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