Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:00 am
By Wale Olayanju
1. A plot of land was purchased by one Baba Saheed at 61b Cardoso Road, Unity Bus Stop, Baruwa Inside, Baruwa, Ipaja.
2. The land which was meant for residential purpose was later used to construct a gas/petrol petrol station.
3. The development irked the residents of the area because the gas/fuel station is constructed where schools, churches and other residential buildings are located.
4. When their protests fell on deaf ears, the Cardoso community under the name of Unity Community Development Association complained to the state government.
5. In a letter written on their behalf on February 5th, 2018, their lawyer, Femi Anthony Agbaje intimated the government of the activities of Best Roof Gas Station and complained that citing a gas station in the area constitute dangers to the over 30,000 residents of the area.
6. Copies of the letters were sent to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development and media organisations.
7. LASG acknowledged the letter through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development saying it was looking into the matter.
8. Government also told the residents to swear to an affidavit to bear the costs of removal of the gas station if approval is granted by the government.
9. The total cost of removal, which was put at N757,900 was to be paid to the state government.
10. The community could not afford the amount, so they had to resign themselves to fate.
11. On Thursday, 8 October, 2020, there was a gas explosion at Best Roof Gas Station, Baruwa, Ipaja. The explosion claimed eight lives, destroyed 25 houses, 16 shops, a school and other properties worth millions of naira.
There is a need for the LASG to investigate this matter, with an intention to avert future occurrence. Baruwa explosion is coming barely two weeks after a similar explosion at Ifako-Ijaye.
Enough should be enough!
-Wale Olayanju, public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos
-See protest letter by the community’s lawyer and Lagos State Government’s response then: