Boy dead as task force destroys shanties in Lagos community

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A boy is said to have been killed during an attempt by officials of Lagos state Task Force to destroy some shanties in Otodo Gbame area of Lekki

One of the residents Jonathan Zosu who spoke on the incident said the demolition by the task force was carried out without prior notice, leaving residents stranded

Another resident Akinrolabu Samuel said the mishap said he was sleeping when a neighbour called him on phone to tell him about the incident.

However, the Lagos state commissioner for information and strategy Steve Ayorinde denied claims that the resident was killed during the demolition process

Boy dead as task force destroys shanties in Lagos community

A boy is said to have been killed during an attempt by officials of Lagos state Task Force to destroy some shanties in Otodo Gbame area of Lekki.

The boy, Punch reports was killed when the officials began demolition in the area.

One of the residents Jonathan Zosu who spoke on the incident said the demolition by the task force was carried out without prior notice, leaving residents stranded.

Zosu said: “On Saturday, Elijah (Avonda) was shot dead by some hoodlums. Today (Sunday), another boy was killed. The task force men started the demolition without any notice.

They came in 12 am and hundreds of houses were destroyed. They are still on ground, using a bulldozer to pull some structures into the water.

“Our children are scattered; many children were found in the river. We are totally confused. We don’t have anywhere to go.”

We gathered that another resident Akinrolabu Samuel who spoke on the mishap said he was sleeping when a neighbour called him on phone to tell him about the incident.

Samuel said: “I was not around when the incident happened. I received a call around 5am that marine policemen, task force officials and some hoodlums came in and shot continuously.

They came with a bulldozer. People started running into the lagoon. David (Aya) was shot dead and Monday (Idowu) was injured.”

“The task force men started burning the houses on waterfronts. About 150 structures were burnt down. People are stranded on the lagoon. There was an attack on the community yesterday (Saturday) too, and Elijah was killed in the process. He has two wives and 10 children,” Samuel said.

But speaking on the matter, the Lagos state commissioner for information and strategy Steve Ayorinde denied claims that the resident was killed during the demolition process.

Ayorinde said: “Otodo Gbame belongs to a private family. Since a fire incident happened in November 2016 and the case taken to court and referred to open-door mediation, nothing ought to be in Otodo Gbame. It is the duty of the state government that both parties respect the position of the court, which is to return to status quo.”

“Shanties, particularly those that have proven to be a safe haven to criminals and kidnappers, cannot be on our waterfronts. The structures are illegal shanties and they can’t be allowed because of the larger security of the state. “

It has been established for months that riverine areas and illegal shanties around our waterfronts have been serving as safe access to illegalities and criminal activities. The government cannot allow that to continue to happen,” Ayorinde said.

“The reported killing took place on Saturday and the task force men were not there. The reported killing was a result of a continuous fight between the two ethnic groups in that area. The government has nothing to do with it and the police have not recorded any death today (Sunday).”

Recall that over 150 structures on the waterfronts of OtondoGbame was demolished by operatives of the Lagos state Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences unit.

Residents have however, decried the action of the state government with some saying they leave their fate to the governor of Lagos state Akinwunmi Ambode.

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