Lagos Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has reiterated that there is no going back on the insistence of the state government that street gates cannot be closed throughout the day.

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The Commissioner stated this when he met with members of the Lekki Residents Association recently, adding that the action was taken in the larger interest of all residents of the state.

According to a statement issued by Kunle Adeshina, director of Public Affairs, MOE&WR, Tokunbo Wahab, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by his transport counterpart, Mr. Oluwaseun Oshiyemi, at Alausa, said it was a very painful decision which had to be taken because the state government had the responsibility to regulate operations at Lekki Phase 1 which is a government scheme.

According to the Commissioner, all the removed gates are intact and would be returned to the various zones of the residents association immediately an amicable agreement is reached on modalities for re-installing the gates.

He reiterated that part of the agreement must include a proviso that the gates cannot be shut before 12 midnight and must have personnel manning them to ensure seamless entry and exit for all residents.

Wahab said part of what informed the decision to remove all the gates was to avoid a situation where the state would be accused of cherry picking streets that had their gates pulled down.

According to the government, part of the larger picture was that many people, areas and institutions got away with infractions because there was no synergy, adding that it has now become a thing of the past.

He corrected the notion that only the ministry of transportation could deal with removal of street gates, saying all ministries represent sub units of one whole system which could be directed by the state governor because they are all linked and inter related.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Oshiyemi, said the meeting was not to apportion blames but to ensure that if the streets are to be gated, all laid down rules and regulations must be abided with.

He added that while the state government is not keen to put personal security of the Lekki Phase 1 residents in jeopardy, it will also not jeopardise the free movement of people without let or hindrance as enshrined in the constitution.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Lekki Residents Association, Mr. Yomi Idowu, appealed to the state government to reconsider the decision to remove all the inner gates.

He explained that following the directives of the Ministry of Transportation to the Lekki Residents Association to keep all the inner gates open, the association complied but had to contend with some recalcitrant street residents who refused to open theirs.

He recalled that he also experienced the issue of non-admittance to some streets in Lekki 1 where he was asked to provide access codes which was totally unwarranted and condemnable.

Idowu attributed the indiscriminate erection of street gates to the experience residents of Lekki Phase 1 had during the #EndSARS riot which brought about a quest to protect themselves against intrusion.