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FLOOD IN LAGOS: Let’s talk about dredging at Park View, others and Seyi Tinubu’s connection


Dredging is still continuing on Lagos Lagoon, ceaselessly, despite the chaotic outcome of the heavy downpour of rainfall in almost every part of the state. In spite of the danger this dredging has constituted to the residents of the coastal areas around Ikoyi, Lekki, Ajah, Badoore, Iyana Oworo areas, the dredging companies are still taking sands away with the attendant vibration caused to the residential buildings. We understand that official notice and engagement with the appropriate authorities on the effect of the dredging work close to the residential properties have been ignored and treated nonchalantly.

The state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is being called upon to step into this matter personally and restore the confidence of the coastal residents in the areas mentioned above and other affected areas. The dredging of the Lagos Lagoons must be stopped for the time being until the flooding is abated.

Most pressing for me in this latest article is the issue of waterlog problem in Lagos State. And I have gotten the responsibility to use the opportunity that I have, as a Diasporan “Outside Looking In”, to be the voice of the voiceless, people, who have been pushed to misfortune, as they cry with tears of blood dropping out of their eyes over injustice done to them, and still have no one to come to their aid. Before now, the mantra of ‘cry-cry bobo’ was only seated with the poor. Under the current dispensation, the mantra has shifted and, now, it is mantra also of ‘the rich also cry’.

If care is not taken, even the residence of the United States of America’s Consular General in Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos will soon be washed away as a result of activities of dredgers who are now too powerfully situated on the shoreline of Park View doing what is more sweetening to them without considering the hell their doing so will take residents of the area through. These dredgers’ activities are disturbing to the people of the neighbourhood in the night. People cannot sleep.

Dredging in advanced society is done in the middle of the deep water away from the shoreline, not within area where people live. But in Lagos, particularly, in Park View, Banana Island, Ajah, Badore, Iyana Oworo, Alapere areas, it is within areas where people live that these dredgers operate and these machines can be so disturbing. This is pure wickedness of the highest order!

A look at the bank of that riverine area of the Lagoon reveals that sand being excavated is already creating space under skyscrapers built by people’s legitimate money.  But those who are either relations of the powerful or the powerful themselves, connected to this professionally human evil that man does to fellow man, would care not about whose ox is gored. Yet, they are the first to move Lagos State emergency officials to carry out integrity test they never cared about at the start, when such building collapses.

In the end, they will still expectedly confiscate the land saying they stand under a particular indefensible law of Lagos State to take it over, land that belongs to somebody who has just fallen into the misfortune of the same problem that you use the power of state to cause for him. That is causing a building collapse to be able to profit from the tears and loss of lives and properties of people. It is sad! It is evil! It should not happen! But that happens in Lagos!

Once again, I have read another release by De Renaissance Patriots Foundation, and I see in it that it addresses the worry on my mind about this sorry case. It was a bold and deafening press release published on Monday July 1, 2024. I believe it had been read to the ears of these Lagos State officials in English having been published by all the newspapers including Guardian, Vanguard, The DEFENDER, Platform Times, ASHE NEWS, Citizens Compass, The Nigerian Tribune, and I have an audio clip of a Koko Inu Iwe Iroyin reviewed in Yoruba by Radio Nigeria’s BOND FM 92.9 from The DEFENDER publication of the same press release.

Per adventure they were hit, these dredgers night of Wednesday July 3, according to my contact, moved their machines away to the joy of residents. Alas! The following morning of Thursday July 4, they were back and had again continued their devastating dredging business afflicting the people on the neighbourhoods with sleeplessness due to the noise and dangers they pose by such self-based means of profiteering. What a horror!

Since nobody is answerable to anybody, and nobody to whom these allegedly officially facilitated evils can be reported, and all of these going on, unchecked, in the same Lagos State claimed to be the country home-base of the sitting President of world’s most populous black nation.

I am hereby publicly reporting this sorry case to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, since it is said that no human face is involved in the reporting system operated by his government. I speak through this platform to tell Your Excellency that you cannot now turn incommunicado to the same people you would crawl in the night to meet and eat roasted maize and plantain with in the open daylight to get their votes and who gave those votes you, whether by fire or by crook.

Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, people in Lagos State are suffering under your government but they are afraid to report to you because they say it is either your hands are tied or you are a major beneficiaries of their suffering, yourself. How? Why? What? Anything the matter? Can we get to know your challenges so we can help you cry out to the world for help?

But my investigations revealed to me that you are not faced with any challenge except that you just cannot assert your position as the constitutional Governor that is the Chief Executive and Chief Security Officer of the state against some non-state actors, who are using the connections they have with the President of the country to do things under your nose. How true is this? The rest remains with you.

On this devastating dredging on the shoreline of Park View, Banana Island, Ajah Badoore and Iyana Oworo areas, you have been allegedly listed as one of those involved. The name of Seyi son of our respectable President of Nigeria is listed as the principal actor. In fact, my investigations further disclosed that Seyi has dredged or sand-filled close to 20 acres on that shore in the reclamation format that is going on, despite the cries of the Lagos State indigenes who keep warning and saying these things are not acceptable to them being the rightful owners of the land, to earn more land to himself to be able to position himself perhaps to pretend to claim land ownership in Lagos. Is that not the interpretation?

Let me help you understand my point better by showing to you complaint of one of the affected who said, “The problem of flooding on the Lagos Island can partly be attributed to the indiscriminate reclamation going on at Park View and Banana Island, which are being sponsored by Seyi Tinubu and Governor Jide Sanwo/Olu.

“Already over 20 acres have been sand-filled and, apart from the fact that this is partly the cause of flooding in the Island, it is also a big threat to the structures in that vicinity.

“All efforts to get them to stop the excessive reclamation in the interest of those affected have proved abortive,” for the fear of witch-hunt, being attacked or arrested, even the one whose life is threatened finds you and your government so dreadful that they cannot afford to be identified with their own complaints. In a country said to be in democracy? It is unbelievable.

Now, forget about the messenger and address the message. Is it a falsehood being told here or a fact? It becomes your duty as governor to move to the shoreline of Park View, Banana Island and other areas being aforementioned and see things for yourself with assurance to Nigerians that these Lagos residents suffering or threatened by activities of those dredgers being linked to you and Seyi Tinubu will be given justice and assured their peace both in the night and daylight time.

I mean people are complaining that their dredging business is causing them hell of experience, they say you, the government that should listen to them and remove the impediment that they have, make yourself an unreachable party. What then is the worth of voting power that the people have entrusted to you in a democracy, Mr. Governor?

This is a serious question that calls for action immediately, if the government of Lagos you handle on behalf of your political godfather is truly out to serve the people and not to shortchange them and then fizzle into the thin air untraceable. Time of fear of people entrusted with votes of the masses is gone!

*Olumoro, a Nigerian in the Diaspora (UK), is a opinionist with concern about Nigeria and citizens’ wellbeing.

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