Lekki Residents Express Shock and Disappointment as Government Tears Down Estate Gates

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In a move that has left the upscale residents of Lekki in shock and disappointment, the Commissioner of Environment for Lagos State, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, has ordered the removal of estate gates within the community. The government claims the gates are causing traffic congestion and defacing the aesthetics of the environment, but residents argue that the decision puts them at risk of criminal activities.

The Commissioner, in a statement, explained that the indiscriminate mounting and multiplicity of gates in various parts of the state, particularly in the Lekki 1 axis, have led to traffic snarls. The Enforcement team of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has consequently initiated the removal of these gates, including those on Sir Rufus Foluso Giwa Road, Theophilus Oji Road, Osaro Isokpan Road, Abike Sulaiman Road, Ben Okagbue MBA Road, Olubunmi Rotimi Road, Olanrewaju Ninalowo Road, Dele Adedeji Road, Abayomi Sonuga Road, Siji Soetan, and Rasheed Alaba Williams Roads.

Residents, however, are not taking the directive lightly. Many argue that the closed gates serve as a crucial deterrent to criminal elements, drug dealers, and prostitution within the community. They expressed concern that the removal would expose them to security threats and compromise the safety of the residents.

“Why would they take away our gates? It’s not just about traffic; it’s about keeping our community safe from criminal elements. We’ve seen an increase in criminal activities when these gates are open,” said a resident expressing the sentiment of many.

Adding to the discontent, another resident questioned the government’s intentions, particularly regarding land use charges. He found it ironic that the government is demanding compliance while seemingly neglecting their safety concerns.

“We are asked to comply with land use charges, but what are we getting in return? Our safety is compromised, and now they want us to open our communities to commercial activities. It’s unacceptable,” voiced the resident.

Residents also claim that they have shouldered the responsibility of enforcing compliance since the government and police have been ineffective in ensuring security. They also claim that there has been consistent pressure on residents to sell their properties to businessmen who often turn the once-exclusive residential area into a commercial hub.

The Commissioner urged all resident associations with similar gates to voluntarily remove them or face sanctions. As tensions rise, residents are mobilizing to contest the decision, demanding a reconsideration that considers both their safety and the broader implications of transforming the community into a commercial center.

 

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