Monday, April 11, 2016 7:04 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government has begun the removal of gates on streets across the state following the expiration of the ultimatum to all residents to leave gates open till 12 midnight each day.
The government has marked 62 gates for removal across the state, out of which 28 were removed today in in Ajeromi Ifelodun area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The government, because of the traffic gridlock ordered all residents to leave their gates open between 5am and 12 midnight so that motorists could navigate through them in order to curb traffic gridlock.
The ultimatum has expired
Government officials along with the Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit stormed Ajeromi Ifelodun on Monday and removed 28 gates which were locked against motorists.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Affairs, Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri noted that the removal of the gated streets had to be done after series of awareness campaign by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs on the need to adhere strictly to state government directives.
He added that series of stakeholders meeting were held with executive members of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Community Development Associations (CDAs) and the Executive Secretaries of the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs to ensure that they were all involved in the state government policies and directives.
“There is need to remove all the gated streets and barricades due to non-compliance of the residents to the opening hours of 5am to 12midnight and to be effectively manned from midnight to 5am by security personnel who must always be on ground to open these gates in case of any emergency.
“These gates constitute obstruction to traffic, especially in areas where such gated streets or barricades are on roads meant to serve as thoroughfares or alternative link routes, it also prevents fire engines during fire outbreak, pregnant women in labour, other medical emergency, and police patrol vehicles to gain access to such streets when they receive any distress calls,” he said.
He advised other residents that had not complied with the state government’s directive to do so before the government move to their areas for demolition, adding that over 62 gates had been marked down for removal across the 57 councils, while the government had so far removed 28.
Chairman, DCD, Ajeromi –Ifelodun, Mr.Tunde Balogun said the removal of the gates was long overdue “because in the past in this area, closure of gate had led to the death of a pregnant woman that was being taken to a nearby General Hospital, but died when they could not assess the street due to the closure of the gate.
“Now that some gates in the streets are being removed, it will give assess to motorists who are being held up in traffic and will also enhance smooth operation for the security agencies during emergencies so as to carry out their operations effectively in any of the affected areas when there is any distress call.”
He advised some residents who had not complied to government’s directive on the appropriate time for the opening and closure of their gates to do so.
One of the residents, Engr. Oamen Edward, said this operation was a welcome development as it would put a stop to extortion in the area by the leaders and the landlords, adding that it would ease the flow of traffic and reduce the travelling time of people from their respective places of work.
Mrs. Ejioma Okoh, a resident, emphasized that the majority of the streets in her neighborhood closed their gates around 7pm and that this usually caused a lot of discomfort to people who got home late from work, saying that the enforcement carried out in the area was a welcomed development.