The Lagos State Government has said it would henceforth prosecute officials of any community which refused to obey its order on gated street gates in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Affairs, Alhaji Tajudeen Adeniyi Quadri made this known on Thursday while flagging off the commencement of enforcements by the Special Taskforce set up by the state government. The enforcement would be statewide.
The government had earlier directed that all street gates be made accessible between 5am and 12midnight every day, after series of awareness campaign. Government had frowned at communities which had remained recalcitrant, directing that the order be strictly adhered to.
Speaking at the commencement of the enforcement exercise which kicked-off from Surulere, Ajeromi Ifelodun, Ikeja, Isolo, Ikosi-Isheri, Ojodu and Amuwo-Odofin areas of the State, Quadri said those acting contrary to the law were posing a great security threat to the government’s resolve to achieve a safe and secured Lagos.
He disclosed that the State Government’s policy on gated streets was meant to earn the confidence of residents and investors in the State, noting that the act of denying motorists and pedestrians’ access through the various community gates before the stipulated time does not positively reflect the image of the State Government as being investor-friendly.
According to him, the illegal closure of gates also contributes to the activities of criminally-minded individuals who indulge in dispossessing residents of their belongings, thereby making it difficult for security agencies come to the rescue of victims or apprehend the perpetrators.
“The act of partial or permanent closure of gates against Street Gated Regulations of the State affects businesses encourages miscreants to take advantage of residents and get away with their belongings and in case of fire outbreak the community affected will not be easily accessible by the Rescue teams, the Senior Special Assistant explained.
He said that the policy, being an executive order by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode might warrant arrest and prosecution of non-complying communities where necessary.
Quadri added that the activities of the various communities affected had further made free vehicular movement difficult in those areas where roads leading to the closed gates were not accessible by Commuters.
During the exercise, some aggrieved residents whose gates were removed kicked against the act while others commended the exercise by the State Government for the exercise
A resident in Idita Street in Surulere Local Government, and Mrs Deborah Ogunbiyi expressed satisfaction in the exercise, saying passing through easy access roads had been difficult due to closure of gates with other inconveniences that comes with it.
She said members of the community will continue to support government policies and programmes to make Lagos safer and better.
Another residents in Yekini Okobale, in Isolo Local Council Development Area commended the State Government for the exercise that the illegal closure of the gate has prevented pregnant women in labour to access other gates in case there is traffic gridlock anytime there is emergency and Mr Yussuf Akingbola maintained that the exercise is a welcome development as it would also reduce traffic gridlock and travel time they usually encounter in the vicinity.