The Lagos State Government has commenced the removal of illegal structures and shanties on setbacks of drainage channels at Lekki Phase 2 Ikota Drainage channel.
The demolition exercise in highbrow Lekki II areas of Mobil road and Gedegede community followed the expiration of several contravention notices served on the property owners which were ignored.
Speaking with journalists at the scene of the demolition, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, said the outright demolition underscored the seriousness of the Sanwo-Olu administration about law and order restoration.
Wahab, who was represented by the Director, Drainage Enforcement and Compliance, Engr Mahmood Adegbite, said the state started serving contravention notices on the property owners since the year 2000 when all the structures were at foundation levels.
He said they, however, proved recalcitrant and rebuffed all measures suggested by the state government to them to prevent flooding major parts of the community and went ahead to sand fill the setback of the channel preparatory to constructing more structures.
According to him, we cannot write the story of Lagos without the unfortunate incident of flash flooding. We are all aware that flooding is caused by natural forces as well anthropogenic factors one of which is building on flood plains and Right of way of drainages.
He added that one of the major buildings demolished today was at the foundation level in Year 2000 when the owner was informed that the building was constructed within the drainage right of way.
He said the approved right of way is 15metres but due to the high density of the area, it was reduced to 10metres, saying that the property owners in the area not only built on the right of way but obstructed the water carriage way from 15 meters to 3metres.
He said the drainage channels in question is about four kilometers and that immediately after the demolition, the government would ensure that the maintenance crew come to dredge and widen the width of the canal.
He advised all aspiring and property owners to cooperate with government and seek information before embarking on any building project in order to avert issues like this.
“Few people cannot be allowed to cause hardship to the majority. We also received petitions about these unwholesome activities that bother on impunity and we had to act decisively.
This should serve as warning to others who have done similar things at other locations, they should know that their actions have consequences at the end of the day” he said.
The demolition exercise will ensure all buildings and shanties that have narrowed the Lekki 2 Ikota drainage channel causing flooding in the area and adjoining communities.