• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Lagos reads riot act to residents over gated streets

Ambode-office

Disturbed by the trend of closure of street gates across the state, Lagos State government on Monday ordered the immediate opening of such gates and barricades between the hours of 5am and 12 mid-night daily.

It warned that defaulting streets would have their gates pulled down within the next seven days.

The government also ordered that all street gates and barricades are now only permitted to be locked between 12 mid-night and 5am, and security guards must man such locked gates within the period under lock and key in case of emergencies.

Tajudeen Quadri, senior special assistant to the state governor on community affairs and doubles as chairman of state advisory council on community affairs, who addressed journalists in Ikeja, said the action followed series of complaints from residents on the disturbing trend of street gates and barricades.

There have been situations whereby fire fighters and police were prevented from getting to emergency scenes on time due to street gates and barricades as well as instances where rushing patients with emergency situations to hospital were equally frustrated, Quadri said.

Quadri, who addressed the media alongside Muslim Folami, commissioner for local government and community affairs, and Kehinde Bamigbetan, special adviser on community affairs communications, said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had directed that the restriction on closure of street gates and barricades be strictly adhere to henceforth.

Quadri said information reaching government was that gates were being locked in several places throughout the day, causing much inconveniences of residents having to walk round to get to the main road, and that some gates were deliberately locked just to prevent others from using the roads, thereby aggravating traffic situations, especially in areas where such roads were meant to serve as thoroughfares or alternative link routes.

He said: “This government therefore observes with caution that though the erecting and closing of these gates may be desirable, the consequences on the overall urban efficiency, aesthetics and functionality of the city, and especially traffic flow, poses questions difficult to answer.

“These barricades, though well intended, constitutes obstruction to traffic, especially in areas where such street gates or barricades are on roads meant to serve as thoroughfares or alternative link routes.” Also speaking, Folami warned that the state government would pull down gates and barricades in any defaulting streets, adding that government would not spare any CDA found wanting in strictly complying with the directive.

He said Governor Ambode was very sensitive to issues affecting the communities and recalled the recent flag off of the construction of 114 roads across the 57 councils as well as the massive security infrastructure put in place to secure the state.

“In view of the challenges posed by the unrestricted erection of street gates, the state government is revisiting the directive on the gates and barricades. Any contravention of this directive will attract necessary punishment for defaulters,” Folami said