Group Urges Lagos Govt To Provide Temporary Accommodation For Building Demolition Victims

Group Urges Lagos Govt To Provide Temporary Accommodation For Building Demolition Victims

4 weeks ago
2 mins read

A group known as Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has called on the Lagos State Government to provide temporary accommodation or relief camps for victims of building demolition in the state.

It said that “Owners and occupants of demolished buildings are bound to suffer economic losses and social setbacks compounded by psychological and possible health challenges.”

The group said that it acknowledged the fact that the current administration is trying to current past errors to avert substantial environmental damage that could be caused by flooding, but innocent residents who become victims of building demolition should not be left to suffer it perpetually without any form of relief.

According to a statement signed by the coordinator, BCPG Kosofe Cell, Soji Adeniji, the Guild noted that given the threat of flooding, there is no doubt that the ongoing demolition of buildings that obstructed the watercourse was a necessity that should bring relief to residents during the approaching rainy season.

The Guild said: “Temporary accommodation or relief camps should be provided by the government for victims of building demolition. Past errors cannot be left to haunt residents perpetually. The demolition of buildings to avert flooding is necessary and painfully irreversible.”

READ ALSO: Lekki Landlords, Investors In Fear As Lagos Govt Declares 80% Of Buildings Without Permit

The Guild stressed that in order to reduce the pain of the innocent tenants of buildings marked for demolition, the government should provide sufficient notice ahead, making sure that direct occupants rather than landlords were informed.

Within the last one year, the state government has been engaged in the demolition of structures deemed illegal because they were not approved. It said the effort was to also return the state to its original master plan and prevent environmental disaster.

Recently, the state began demolition of some buildings at Arowojogbe in Mende Estate. This sparked outrage when videos of the exercise were shared on social media.

Reacting to that, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environmental a d Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, explained that the demolished structures were built on system 1 drainage right of way to the Odo Iya Alaro and were pulled down to avert flooding of the entire mainland.

BCPG also called on the Lagos State government to investigate and prosecute any official found to have been involved in compromise in the recent demolition of the Arowojobe part of Mende Estate.

It said the action should extend to retired officials for negligence of duty, adding that stubborn developers who refused to adhere to regulations, should of course be held accountable as well.

“To complement the essence of this belated demolition, the government should cast its searchlight on its staff and past political office holders and dispense immediate justice on those of them whose compromise resulted in the current belated wanton destruction of property along System One Channel at Mende, Lagos.

“Where those who have retired are prosecuted for negligence, dereliction of duty, or other offences committed while in service, loyalty to the public interest will be encouraged. Unrepentant, stubborn developers who are fond of flouting building regulations and seducing government officials towards compromise should be held accountable. Such a deliberate offence, impunity, deserves no sympathy.”

The Guild also urged government to equally prosecute professionals who were involved in construction of illegal structures that were being demolished to serve as deterrent to others in future.

The group also raised a concern that while the government embarked on the demolition exercise, it has generated allegations from developers that the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation laid a precedent by encroaching on the natural watercourse at Alapere.

“The current building demolition aimed at correcting past mistakes has, in an antithesis, generated an allegation from developers that a government parastatal, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, laid a substantial precedent, encroaching on the natural watercourse at Alapere (still in Kosofe) by sand filling and situating housing estates in the swampy area beside the highway bridge.”

It however commended the resolve of the current leadership of the state’s Ministry.of Environment and Water Resources to correct past errors, adding that it was aimed at saving lives and properties.

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