The Lagos State Government through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, in a statement released on thursday, has denied any involvement in the Otodo Gbame fire incident which ravished the improvised homes of the dwellers in that area, leaving about 30,000 residents homeless with no where to run to, as was reported by the Justice and Empowerment Initiative.
After the incident occured on the 9th of November, the residents pointed fingers at the state government as being the engineers of the act, while making it appear as though it was part of the collateral damage from the clash that occured between two Yoruba communities – the Egun-speaking part and the yoruba -speaking part.
Residents are strongly convinced that it is part of a ploy by the state government to forcefully evict them from their ancestral lands.
However, in the statement released by Mr. Ayorinde, the state government says that, the claims of the residents is far from the truth. He maintained that, the fire incident which was the resultant occurance of the community clash was to be blamed.
He further stated that,’ the state government, shares In the painful loss of the residents…” and ‘It is therefore unfortunate that a few aggrieved persons and fifth columnists will choose to blame the government and law enforcement officers that rose to the occassion in ensuring that the clashes did not degenerate further and most mportantly that the arson did not spread into the Lekki phase 1.”
Meanwhile, it is reported that, there are evidence that government owned bulldozers rolled into the community on November 10th to begin demolition of the shanties in the communities with armed police men shotting sporadically into the air.
Justice Onigbanjo of the High of Lagos State, Igbosere, had earlier granted an interim injunction against any planned demolition until the substantive suit between the people of the waterfronts communities and the state government had reached its conclusive end.
If the claims of the residents are true and correct, then obviously that order has been violated.
Written by Okolo Ezinne