Lagos State Government on Thursday exonerated itself from being part of the the alleged demolition of over 800 houses Otodo Gbame Community in Lekki area of the state.
The state government said reports alleging that it authorized demolition of the community, was far from the truth, cautioning those peddling the speculations to do their findings before pointing accusing fingers.
According to a statement on signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, the government expressed sympathy over loss of residents due to the clash, while also explaining that by the time police operatives restored nolmacy to the community, most of the shanties had already been torched and razed down.
Ayorinde, combined efforts of fire brigade and emergency rescue officers could not salvage the community as larger part as been consumed by the fire.
The state government however frowned over decision of some people, with aid of the media who chose to allege that it orchestrated demolition of the community.
“It is therefore unfortunate that a few aggrieved persons and fifth columnists will choose to blame the government and law enforcement officers that rose to the occasion in ensuring that the clashes did not degenerate further and more importantly that the arson did not spread into Lekki Phase 1,” Ayorinde said.
The Commissioner said while the Otodo Gbame shanties clearly fell within prime waterfront areas where Lagos State Government would prefer to have better development, befitting of a prime area in a mega city, it was mindful of fundamental rights of various residents living in the area.
According to Ayorinde, while government was not unaware of legal tussle over the areas and rights of citizens to stage peaceful protests, relevant agencies of government had since been deployed to provide succor and lessen pains of the displaced people.
The government warned both local and foreign individuals or groups that may be using the incident to perpetrate wrong and unfounded information to desist from taking advantage of the development and plight of the former residents of Otodo Gbame, adding that it would not be blackmailed with cheap, sensational interjections from onerous task of better securing Lagos, improving on urban development and looking after infrastructural needs of all residents.
The Commissioner also urged people of the State to refrain from any act that could threaten peace of their areas and pledged that government would continue to ensure safety of lives and property and promote peaceful coexistence needed for speedy development of the State.
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