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Posts tagged ‘Badagry’

Lagos Magistrate Court Grants Injunction Against Police Land Take Over Of Atiporome Community.


Some of the protesting land owners at the Lagos secreatriat
By SaharaReporters, New York

A magistrate court judge in Badagry has granted an injunction against a police invasion, and demolition of over a thousand houses at Atiporome community in Badagry.

The magistrate, Judge Adesanya (Mrs.) ruled on Wednesday that the police invasion and demolition of the houses was in contempt of court, as a suit was pending regarding the  ownership and tussle on the land.

Magistrate Adesanya in her ruling also lambasted the police over its arbitrary demolition of more than 1,500 houses in the Atiporome community. She wrote the action by the police left residents there homeless.

Just a few weeks before their removal, Atiporome community residents had stormed the offices of the Lagos State Government in Ikeja. They aired their complaints and demanded government intervention on their behalf. But not much came with the airing of their plight before government officials. The Lagos State Government was also busy, ironically, at the time, wrestling with residents of the Okun-Idasho community, in Ibeju-Lekki, in a strikingly similar legal battle, to take over their land for its Lagos Free Trade Zone project.

In recent weeks before the new injunction, police had demolished well over a thousand houses in the community, claiming ownership to the land.

The magistrate ordered the police authority to be immediately served with the court order to avoid further excesses, as she ruled on the application for injunction. This latest legal step was filed collectively by members of the Atiporome community.

The matter was adjourned set for a March 20th hearing.

 

What Hope For Inclusive-Education In Lagos? By Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna.


By Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna

To all intent and purposes, Lagos state still ranks top when it comes to innovations and promotion of education. One of these innovations in the area of education is the running of several inclusive schools across the state. In Lagos state, thirty-two government owned schools run inclusive-education for the deaf, blind, dumb, mentally and physically challenged. The secondary schools operating inclusive-education for the deaf and hearing-impaired are located in Eric-Moore:Surulere, Badagry, Epe, Ikeja and Ikorodu.

Since the beginning of the 2013/2014 academic session, students of Ikeja Senior High School lacks teachers for the deaf class. The population of the deaf students, which was about seventy at the beginning of the academic year, has begun to reduce as some of the students in the senior class have withdrawn from the school.

Investigation reveals that only ten students are left in the senior high school and two have withdrawn, but they may become extinct by the end of the academic year if sign language teachers or interpreters are not employed to teach the students.

One of the teachers at Ikeja High School, who spoke under anonymity said everyday is depressing for the hearing impaired students in the senior class as the teachers who come to teach the students continue to speak to the deaf students. Also a recent visit by one of the officials from the Lagos State Ministry of Education to the school indicated that the state government is not ready to employ teachers for the hearing-impaired students.

Ikeja High School is the only government owned school under Ikeja District 6 operating inclusive education for the hearing impaired. Further investigation reveals that Ikeja High School is been directed to admit students with hearing impairment, but the school has only two sign language teachers for the whole hearing impaired student population.

Also at State Grammar Schoool Eric Moore Surulere that has an estimated population of over 400 hearing impaired students for both junior and senior school, teachers are also in short supply. The school has about ten teachers for the deaf students and only one mathematics teacher for the hearing impaired students.

One of the volunteer teacher who was part of the Lagos state “Eko Project” Mr. Olajide Adeniyi said if not for the Eko project, education in state would have suffered lots of set back. He explained that most of the teachers recruited for the project function as full time teachers but are paid only #15,000. “As at the moment, most schools have stopped paying the Eko Project teachers and this has resulted to lack of teachers in most schools across the state. Here in State Grammar School, I am no longer an Eko Project teacher but I volunteer to teach mathematics to the junior secondary school students in class 3 to assist them in preparing for the junior WAEC exam. If not for my passion for these children, I would have left but they will be ill prepared for the major examinations”, he added.

At Wesley School for the Deaf located in Surulere, one of the teachers who spoke under anonymity lamented that the introduction of inclusive education in 2007 by the Fashola administration was a good concept but it lack monitoring and is gradually becoming a burden. According to him, over ten teachers were recruited from Wesley School for the Deaf to assist other schools that started operating inclusive education but till date none of those teachers were replaced. “The government is not employing teachers for students with special need training. It takes a lot of patience and psychological development to transfer knowledge to hearing impaired students. Most times we rely on students from colleges of education who come for their basic teaching practice experience, if not for them it won’t have been easy for us the teachers to cope with the work load. Though things have changed compared to the past, as students enrollment has increased over the years. We have people enrolling there children from an early age, this is a good for the educational development of the child. Most deaf students don’t like going home after school because their family members don’t know how to communicate in sign language. I will recommend for there to be more schools for the hearing impaired especially boarding school facilities as this help the children to integrate with their fellow classmates and boost their academic performance”, he concluded.

Efforts by Our correspondent to get reaction from the Public Relations Officer PRO Mr. Jide of the Lagos State Ministry of Education proved abortive as he described the lack of teachers at Ikeja High School for the hearing impaired as an allegation that needs to be confirmed.

Access to universal basic education is one of the seven Millennium Development Goals MDG, which member countries of the United Nations are meant to attain by 2015. But these goals of which provision of universal basic education is one have challenges bedeviling it which may hinder it attainment in many states of the country. It is still unfortunate that many top government officials do not see education beyond formal schooling for the able and privileged children. Whereas so many Al-majiri children are scattered across the Northern part of the country who with little exposure to education will make them better citizens. It is in this regard that planning and catering for these children with special needs as well as the Al-majiris should be part of annual state and federal budgeting.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Lagos Assembly Fails To Pass Fashola’s N489.7 Billion Budget, Blames 10 MDAs.


Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Against all expectations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has failed to pass the N489.7 billion presented to it by Governor Babatunde Fashola for the 2014 fiscal year.

Lagos-House-Assembly

Lagos-House-Assembly

The governor presented the budget proposal to the House in October, but the House on Monday failed to pass the budget before the New Year.

This is unlike in 2012 when the Assembly passed the budget before going on recess for the New Year.

The Assembly blamed 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the delay in passing the budget as they refused to submit to the House the necessary documents to facilitate the passage of the appropriation bill.

The concerned MDAs are Eko Project, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA), Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and Ministry of Transportation.

Others are the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project, LMDGP, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lottery Board.

The House has therefore ordered those MDAs to forward the document by 2 January, 2014 to the Appropriation Committee of the House.

On the floor of the House on Monday, a lawmaker, representing Badagry 11 Constituency, Hon. Suru Avoseh called the attention of his colleagues to report forwarded to him as inconclusive.

Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Appropriation, Mudashiru Obasa lamented that 10 MDAs had not supplied the necessary documents that would lead   to further deliberation on the report.

The committee chairman said the affected MDAs appeared before the House and were asked to present the documents, but that up till the sitting period, the committee had not received any of the documents, saying that he had laid the report hoping that before the presentation, the documents would get to the House, adding that the committee had written to the affected government institutions, yet there had been no favourable response.

The Chief Whip, Abdulrazaq Balogun observed that the MDAs deliberately refused to supply the necessary report and that they deserved to be compelled in doing so while Ipoola Omisore, Ifako-Ijaiye II said “it is the desire of the House to pass the appropriation bill before the end of the year. It is not right for any MDA to hold us back.”

Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said that the House would have proceeded on recess after passing the bill but added that this was no longer possible as member must wait for the bill to be passed before embarking on such recess.

Source: African Examiner.

Media Football Madness By Onwuchekwa Jemie.


Below is a reprint of an article by Onwuchekwa Jemie.

[The Guardian, Sunday 22 March 1987]

Holy of holies!  May the everlasting spirit of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (defunct) protect us!  What in the Nine Hundred and Ninety-nine Most Beautiful Names of God is going on?

A veritable plague has descended upon the Lagos news media.  Lagos journalists have gone bananas over . . .
football!  For the last two months or so these news-takers have turned themselves into news-makers, quite in violation of the letter, not to talk of the spirit, of their Code of Ethics and the stern strictures of their NUJ charter.  Every Saturday and Sunday morning, at the ungodly hour of 8 o’clock, these scrawny scrawlers, printer’s devils, radio rappers and teleguiders are to be seen swarming all over Unilag‘s Sports City huffing and puffing, trampling the peaceful grass, chasing a large white ball.

Even their women have abandoned all decorum and plunged into this shameful exhibition.  Some prance up and down the sidelines shouting themselves hoarse cheering their side; others (get this!) even jump in the pitch and fight for the ball with the men!  Have you ever seen such a thing in your life?  Meanwhile the famous Unilag go-slow, which the pallisades erected to narrow the approaches did nothing to improve, gets even slower as motorists stop and stare at this clown show.

These Media Meddlers have simply taken over Unilag’s Sports City. Guardian Angels are posted all around the stadium, and the only way any bonafide denizen of this campus can get within ten yards of the playing field before noon on any weekend is to assert, in as loud a voice as he can muster, that he is a reporter on some newspaper just about to be founded! This is the only password the Guardian Angels feel obliged to respect.

Now, if you really want to know, it’s all the fault (yes, I’ll put the blame right where it belongs!) of Sonala Olumhense of Ogunlana Drive and Nduka Irabor of Rutam House. Yes, Sonala got the ball rolling last October, with the happy idea that he could settle a private dispute with a public duel on the football pitch. I said to him: “My friend, if you publish ThisWeek, will you publish next week?  That is the question.” And he shot back:  “Each and every week!” So cocky!

You see, Sonala had this one and only Santana car bought at the price of three pre-SFEM ones, and he didn’t know what to do with it – I mean, how to split it between two hungry departments of his establishment without dismembering it. So he decided to have it out on the football pitch and let the losing side win. Now, that’s what I call going one worse (not better) on the judgment of Solomon, turning a national disaster into a domestic joke, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, they called in the famous photo trickster Sunmi Smart-Cole to referee the match, and Sunmi, who was reported in his own LagosLife as “more partial than FEDECO,” cunningly gave the game away to – the better side!
Now, don’t ask me who got the car.  I don’t care.  I’m only concerned about the grave consequences for the Nigerian media, nay, the entire nation, of this absolutely unprecedented act, this ill-considered, irresponsible, reprehensible, and, shall we say . . . I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep!

As if ThisWeek’s escapade wasn’t bad enough, Nduka Irabor, who has all the while been eavesdropping on Sunmi’s tie-line telephone, decided to push this novel idea one step further.  He decided to carry his Save-a-Soul Campaign for eye-cancer patient Louis Obiakor to (you know it!) the football pitch! A conspiracy, by Shango! And before you knew it, in the twinkling of an NTA camera eye, the whole mass media was aflutter with football fever!

A united media team emerged, prodded by the invisible hands of the two arch-conspirators, Nduka Irabor and Sonala Olumhense. They sought out sparring partners and found, first, the Olodi Bombers, a respectable motley of job seekers, Danfo drivers and petty traders, who promptly bombed them 4-1. Then a Referees XI, quite out of practice except with their whistles, whom they walloped 4-1  Then came D-Day, January 31, 1987, a day that history will never forget, the Charity Match of the Year, the climax of Nduka Irabor’s Save-a-Soul Campaign, when, in the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, and before the 30 million viewers of Network News nationwide, Media XI and Nigerian Coaches XI faced each other in a magnificently hilarious confrontation of quixotic proportions, and Media XI went down kicking all the way to a hero’s defeat, 1-2.

Now, what happened next?  Worthy Ancestors, sustain me in this crooked narrative!  An avalanche had formed, was moving, was quite unstoppable.  Punch challenged Guardian to put its boots where its big mouth is. But before the matter could be decided, the NUJ had come up with the “Oba Akran Cup” for the media house football competitions. I have it on bad authority that at the recent “Communications Policy” shindig at Badagry, organised by the Institute of Journalism gang led by restless Tony Nnaemeka whose mind is always three miles ahead and out of step, George Izobo, the boss of us all, whispered in the ear of the king of that ancient city, and out dropped the Oba Akran Cup!

So far, seven matches have been won and lost in two successive weekends.  Each media house team is grimly determined – they go out to practise at 6 a.m., if you can believe that. In fact the quarter-finals began yesterday with Vanguard facing Punch and Daily Times tackling Guardian (“we’ll show them we’re not in the same league,” vaunted one booster whose media house shall be nameless).  If you hurry you can still catch, this very Sunday morning, Concord fighting it out with FRCN, and Newswatch and New Nigerian teaching each other a thing or two.

Rumour has it that up in Kaduna, Mohammed Haruna and Innocent Oparadike are putting together a “formidable team,” pet-named the Kaduna Kangaroos, to settle scores, once and for all, with the arrogant Lagos Media Mafia. It’s only rumour, but, typically, the Lagos media boys are already treating it as fact. They’ve redoubled their practice time. “Let them come,” said one burly fellow. “We’ll eat them alive!”

Meanwhile (as they say in the trade), Nduka categorically denies a conspiracy between him and Sonala to foist this physical fitness fit upon their normally sober and staid colleagues. With all undue immodesty, he prefers to share the blame with “a wider circle of friends” who had long been considering the possibilities of media football. As for Sonala, he could not be reached for comment.

Such, at any rate, dear reader, is as inauthentic a history as I’m able to cook up concerning this quite, quite dismal affair.  Now, quote me if you dare!

•    Professor Jemie, a scholar, poet, journalist, and teacher, was the pioneer Editorial Page Editor/Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian (Nigeria)

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

FESTAC Residents Raise Alarm Over Excesses Of Council Security Outfit, Call For Impeachment Of Chairman.


Few days after the police hierarchy pronounced move to sanction states and local government security outfits for allegedly abusing their privileges and usurping the functions of the police, group under the aegis of FESTAC Residents for Sanity (FRS) has raised the alarm over the excesses of security outfit of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area (LGA).

The group is also calling for the impeachment of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Chairman, Comrade Adewale Ayodele for abuse of power and executing orders that are out of his constitutional zones.

The group who made the appeal in a statement signed by its Chairman, Chief Olaitan Ogunsanya and Secretary Comrade Harry Ogbuefi  called on the Federal Government and Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar to investigate the nefarious activities of Amuwo-Odofin vigilant groups made up of Man’O War and Civil Defence Corps who are found of harassing residents of FESTAC Community and motorist plying LagosBadagry expressway.

They alleged that the council vigilante groups kitted in mobile police uniform are found of harassing residents of FESTAC by framing allegations against unsuspected residents thereby extorting money from them as bride, adding that failure to succumb to their threats see such person beating and lock up in a cell within the council’s premises.

“Actions of the council security outfits are becoming unbearable. They are kitted in mobile police uniform so that we cannot differentiate them from police. They execute arrest at will and very corrupt. If you commit a traffic offence its either you pay what they demand for as bribe or they use knife to puncture your tyres. As from 10.00 pm they arrest anyone they see outside and frame allegation on the person. Such person can only be set free after departing with money.

“Their activities are worst at the Lagos-Badagry expressway where they have taking over control of traffic from the police. They are not controlling traffic in order to create sanity on the highway, rather they do it in order to extort money from offending drivers. They collect tolls from heavy duty vehicles and any vehicle carrying goods going or coming from the border town of Seme”, the statement disclosed, adding that the activities of the council security outfit is not to create comfort for the residents, but to make money for themselves because they are not paid salaries by the council authority.

The group blamed Amu-Odofin Local Government Chairman, Comrade Adewale Ayodele for creating such an illegal and hostile security outfits whose aim is to harass residents of Amuwo-Odofin and motorists plying Lagos-Badagry expressway in order to extort them.

“As an activist, we thought he would brought succor to the resident of FESTAC community when he comes on board, rather the reverse is the case as we are being hunted by his militarized men without his doing anything about resolving our problem despite numerous complains and petitions. Consequently, we are calling on Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and members of Lagos State House of Assembly to come to our rescue by banishing the security outfits and as well as sack the local government chairman,” the petition read.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Police authorities according to publication in some of the media is planning to clampdown on ad hoc security formations put in place by some state and local governments, citing the excesses of the security outfits and the danger they pose to the public as an example.

The trend, which security sources described as alarming and dangerous, had degenerated to the extent that these private guards had assumed the functions and responsibilities of the police in some of these states.

Investigations conducted by the media revealed that there were no less than 20 of such organisations in the country that had usurped the functions of the police. The police, it was said, were worried that many of these organisations did not get approval for their operations.

The source revealed that the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, recently sent signals to all zonal Assistant Inspectors General and state commands’ Commissioners of Police to clamp down on such illegal organisations usurping the functions of the police.

It was also gathered that in some states, members of such organisations assumed the functions of controlling the traffic and arresting vehicles.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

My Hero Gaffed By Ezenwa Nwagwu.


By Ezenwa Nwagwu

It was 1983, in class IV in college, the May/June WASC examination of that year was fraught with unprecedented examination malpractices, the examination papers leaked, unscrupulous teachers and invigilators collaborated with some students who wrote the examinations outside the hall and smuggled back the answer sheets. It was simply scandalous; and it mirrored essentially how low the moral trajectory of Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari’s government stink and sunk.

The closing month of same year, witnessed a change of government. For many of us in college then, this change didn’t mean much, the government of the day had introduced “war against indiscipline” (WAI), (cliché and mantra had been worn by every preceding government; green Revolution etc.) abrasive soldiers whipped bloody civilians (as they like to refer to anyone not a soldier) into line, forcing and extracting obedience, introduced the queue culture.

The government announced it was above corruption and graft, fraud and any form of financial irregularity and lived it.

All of these only began to make sense and added up when in May/June, 1984, we sat for WASC examination, and there was no mention of examination leakage (expo). Examination malpractice attracted a frightening jail term, we sat four feet apart in the examination hall and wore pocket-less pants and singlet; indeed, everyone behaved themselves.

Leaving college to Lagos, one vividly recalls how Oyinbo-CMS, Akpogbon routes or Badagry, Ajegunle or Apapa road, Orile-Mile2 was hellish and chaotic, Lagosians could defecate, throw waste, pebbles anywhere and anyhow, the banking halls, airports, hospitals were like market places. Suddenly, with a fiat order came, the soldiers having a whip-hand brought sanity, single file lines at the banks, bus stops, hospitals, gas stations became our daily experiences.

Again, Maitatsine (a terror group like the Boko Haram today) was maiming and killing innocent people. As Head of State, he flew to Yola where the operation was being carried out by the military. And that was the end of Maitatsine. He applied a purely military solution. His resilience and professional astuteness helped to contain the insurgence that saw them packing and running into hiding for such a long time to reincarnate perhaps into the monstrous Boko-Haram. Aside scoring high in fiscal discipline, he called the bluff of predatory Bretton-wood institutions, sanitising the duplicitous import duty saga of that era.

This is 1984-85, the year of General Mohammadu Buhari (my inarguable Hero) was in the saddle of government; what followed his short spell in government was a painful and unimaginable return to a creep up of disorder, infamy and indiscipline.

Any wonder the General has assumed a cult of personality status in Nigeria political firmament. Evidently, this cult image has brought with it a certain level of disguised arrogance, pride and perhaps inflated idea of the Generals persona and strength.

Currently, General Mohammadu Buhari’s talk about crack down on Boko Haram misses the point; this is so because it failed to calm nerves, it is divisive, a mindless play up of the ethnic card and did not build confidence and lacked any inclusive strategy of arriving at a popular acceptable and final solution to the problem in question.

Any conversation on human rights and its application must not be mistaken for “Go and Sin No more” for those who deny others of such rights, intrinsic point in respect for rights must include proper and adequate punishment for violators and full compensation for victims, reward by way of amnesty for purveyors of violence anywhere is injustice to the victims of their bestiality.

General Mohammadu Buhari’s faux pas on the issue of the state of emergency is inexcusable, enough of negotiating with evil and shame to those who provide tacit politico intellectual support for the macabre nihilism of Boko Haram. I believe that rather than holding on to sensation and pity the General must stand up against what is wrong no matter whose oxen is getting lost.

My Hero gaffed and I must tell him, so also I expect his close minders to constantly help him remain the General we love, at seventy years of age, the expectation is that he sits back and laps his enormous goodwill, translates it to backing purposeful, less divisive younger folks who have capacity to unite and push the country to progress and wrest power from the tiring verminous Jonathan misrule.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Lagos State Government And Its Insensitivity Towards The Masses.


By Olanrewaju T. Ajiboye

When military dictators stray into government, they first use the masses problem and national interests to cloak the eyes of the people before they engage in totalitarianism; that underscores the importance of the people that any government wields power on their behalf.

Lagos today is under the leadership of a learned man who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a man of sound pedigree. Raji Fashola, BRF as fondly called was also under the tutelage of a colossus who if cannot be called a democrat because of those who never see anything good in him, can be referred to as a fighter for and supporter of democracy and I am talking of no other person than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In addition, Lagos has never been found wanting in quest for social justice and what is politically correct.

Sadly however, the government of the day appears to be anti-masses or has an oversight that some people are really groaning on the rungs of the ladder under intense and agonizing poverty. But let it be quickly added that no matter its failings, the ACN led government towers far and above the main opposition party, the PDP, a party bereft of ideas of governance but adroit in deceit and deception.

It is a great irony that the real struggling people who are doing petty trading are the ones made to occupy “Black Maria” while the real “made for Black Maria” are freely drinking their concoctions early in the morning after acts of extortions and other criminalities they commit with impunity just because they are handy  political instruments of politicians. Pen robbers and other gluttons for treasury contents drive around in state of the art Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) whereas their means of transport should be Black Maria and their abode being the Maximum prisons facilities.

Much as some traders are goatish in nature, given an inch they take a yard, yet that should not be the latitude for dehumanizing treatment of them; because we will not kill our goats if they return to our cassava flakes severally. We will rather find other means of keeping our valuables away from them. A government that claims to be progressive should understand fully the import of yanking self-esteem from any human being no matter his or her social status. There was no justification for such dehumanizing treatment yesterday, it does not fit into a decent society today and would definitely be absurd in the near future. Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, even governors and presidents have been nurtured through the proceeds of hard working petty traders who are today a pariah.

Before a policy is formulated a sensitive government will consider its import on the people especially the most vulnerable. Here we are; we have created a terrible fiasco in social cohesion such that leaders are not to be trusted, followers have lost hope, every hope is put on miracle, people are lazy and thoroughly rendered inertia. The few that are forging ahead by not getting involved in criminality and struggling as petty traders, artisans are not only displaced without any consideration but are also criminalized by being hounded in Black Maria simply for hawking wares on the road. How can a SAN justify the actions of a set of people in uniform who will pounce on market people, raid their wares without documenting them, haul those arrested in mobile detention in an un-dignifying manner? The “confiscated” and seized wares more often than not are shared as booties by the people hiding under the guise of non-concern by the state government.

Small businesses are not spared the onslaught of the state government either. Lagos State Advertisement and Signage Agency (LASSA) is really causing Lassa fever for small businesses. It is another irony that these employers of labour who help reduce social tension through job creation are the sector being harassed by the two tiers of government in the state with vexatious levies.  Business owners are not protected from bloodshot extortionists who must be “settled” before loading and offloading. The state government will do us a lot of favour if they can explain how much revenue they generate through tax  from the extortionists who have more than enough to acquire exotic and very expensive cars, spray musicians who praise sing them regularly?

I have not availed myself of the full details of what the motives were and what categories of student are affected by the decision, but the truth is that the state government increased tuition fees and other sundry fees in the university owned and funded by it. If the institution is meant to serve the inadequacies of the federal universities in admission capacity as regards Lagos indigenes, there may be justifications for a hike for students from other states who may through their own admission offers deny Lagos indigenes the opportunity to be admitted, but even at that I don’t believe education should be made unaffordable for all Nigerians and indeed any living being who so desires to acquire knowledge. If the state government’s upward review also affects Lagos indigenes with the sharp increase and the affected students have no opportunity for recourse to student loan repayable on liberal terms then it is an act of insensitivity on the part of government.

Human capital development should be the hallmark of policy formulation for any government and that is talking about education and health but I add the third to it, shelter is also very important. It is doubtful whether any country in the world has attained 100% poverty eradication. A friend once told me that there are no destitute in Denmark but I have not really verified the assertion. The crux of the matter is that the housing policy embarked upon by the present administration in Lagos is not for the poor. The administration before it could even be rated to have done one in Abraham Adesanya Housing Estate along Ajah axis. A government needs to demonstrate good faith and be thoughtful about the poor in the society. This informed the social security policy as practiced in developed democracies of the world. England have what they call council houses, Canada has a similar program for people of low income who will be made to pay what is commensurate with the income of a particular occupier at a given period of time. For argument sake, Lagos does not have the luxury of land mass but a mass housing program as done by the Jakande led administration could be embarked upon in Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry axes if only to show concern for the masses. Hawkers of wares should also be encouraged to be home owners through this kind of projects instead of them being made to be occupants of Black Maria.

Lagos should be a pioneer state where peoples’ self-esteem and human dignity are protected and championed. Why? The people in Lagos have a consistent history of support for the protection of human rights; they represent a scourge and nemesis for bad leaders and their bad policies. Abacha’s sleepless nights came more from Lagos, Babangida’s decision to abdicate had serious input from Lagos protesters; Abiola’s mandate agitation was more severe in Lagos and if the Jonathan administration chose to reverse the unpopular PMS hike even to not to its previous rate, Lagos and Lagos protesters were mainly the heroes and of course some progressive minded politicians who chose to stand by the masses.

The ban on Okada on major roads is a relief and a source of pain. Those who genuinely eke a living through the business even though it was an aberration that was allowed to subsist for too long have an axe to grind with this government. And this may not be because of the ban but rather because of how the enforcers of the law embarked on its implementation which caused dehumanization, deaths and permanent injuries.

The reduction in popularity of the present Lagos government comes more from its inactions about the excesses of characters in the midst of its law enforcers like LASTMA, KAI, CBD and others. They go about with armed police to harass, intimidate and extort people on the road. The state government ought to send true believers in their midst to feel the pulse of the people about the repulsive attitude of its agents on the road. The positive aspects of these operatives must be sustained and where they have become dictatorial, oppressors and extortionists must be vigorously discouraged, investigated and punished.

As Eko Atlantic City is being pursued with vigour, so should EKO slum renewal be given adequate consideration. There is no difference in the process of birth for the slave and the master, they all run nine months in the belly of a mother if it is a normal birth and that consideration should always be there to always lift one another. The very foundation of government is predicated on this spirit of finding equilibrium.  Flying on airplane may be expensive than riding on a train but both can have almost same comfort and the advantage of air passenger is in early arrival to destination.

On a final note, a piece of advice for the leadership of ACN whether they morph into APC or any other alliance for that matter is that they should not take the people for granted hence they play into the political bait of the swashbucklers who are hungry and eager to plunder and destroy.

Babatunde Raji Fashola’s headed government had done so much in the past six years and it is still doing, and should therefore be concerned with who and what party succeeds him so that the gains of sixteen years will not be jeopardized by “Viking” who are waiting for opportunities to ravage. The mission starts in the wisdom of the ACN leadership in feeling the pulse, sharing the pains and genuinely offering succor to the aggrieved masses.
Recommendations:

1.      Though availability of funds is a consideration, the state government should embark on massive construction of inner roads in different locations in the state and promote the use of specially designed buses that have wider entry and exit doors to shuttle within streets with designated bus stops. A project like that will naturally put to rest the attraction of Okada as a means of transportation.

2.      Use of technology and courts should be intensified to checkmate the excesses of the goatish traders who will leave the confines of their shops to trade on the roads. Once a camera catches a potential culprit and a court summons is served on the potential violator, a more effective means of curbing street trading would have been created. KAI officials will not have to chase human beings as if they are in the jungle trying to catch some animals. The government should understand that traders don’t like to be saddled with the problem that makes them absent from their place of business, so a court date that has couple of adjournments and eventual fine or jail term are enough deterrence.

3.      Massive high rise building policy should be embarked upon especially in new areas to checkmate the excesses of landlords and reduce housing shortages as well as to curb environmental problems.

4.      Political leaders and political parties especially a political party that has progressive philosophy should start to disengage the services of the bad boys and instead sensitize the people to be more alive to their civic duties and the protection of their liberty. Once this is achieved, then a government formed through such due process would have less need to please “terrorists” whose services are usually needed during election time.

5.      Lastly, those leaders should live by example; they should not be engaged in conspicuous consumption that makes people not to trust them.
Suggestions:

a.      The state government should as a matter of urgency embark on traffic light construction at the following location: (i) Sabo bus stop on Herbert Macaulay, Lagos Mainland. (ii) Left exit before the Old toll gate at Isheri to link Seven Up and for motorists approaching Olusosun/Ojota before FRSC office from Ibadan/Lagos expressway and (iii) U turn to Ikeja Militrary Cantonment from Maryland and for motorists coming from Local airport towards Maryland. The first is to reduce tension for drivers who face serious hassles even though a major police station (Sabo) is located there, and the other two are very dangerous for drivers trying to make U turn and merging to the extreme right lane after turning.
Eko O Ni Baje O.

Olanrewaju T. Ajiboye
(Coordinator, MOHELP)

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

The war zone called Lagos-Badagry Expressway.


 

Automedics illustration, 30 December 2012credits: Chukky Nwakky

I flew back into Nigeria on Saturday, December 22, 2012, after months of driving through tens of thousands of kilometres in rural and urban USA, in search of bargainsfor the equipment and tools with which we will kit the eight new shops that Automedics Ltd is opening in Abuja, Ibadan and Lagos on/before the first week of February 2013.

The following Monday Gbola Oba and yours truly set out to visit some of the facilities on what used to be the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. He had intimated me with the poor condition of that so-called expressway before we set out, having told him that it had been a long time I had plied the road.

The ditch-infested (to say pot hole-infested would amount to sheer euphemism) war zone track I drove on from Igbo-Elerin junction to Badagry does not deserve being called a road, not to talk of express road. To think that this represents the busiest portion of ECOWAS’ network of roads under the direct management of the Federal Government of Nigeria is to see the vacuity of our claim to regional leadership.

If the Federal Government cannot do the road for the benefit of our citizens who inhabit that stretch, can it at least do it for the sake of the vanity of our leaders who go about boasting about how Nigeria is the giant of Africa?

Source: PUNCH NIGERIA.

 BY KUNLE SHONAIKE (INFO@AUTOMEDICSAFRICA.COM)

How FRSC syndicate extorts money from motorists in Seme-Badagry Road.


A Syndicate within the Badagry Unit Command RS 11 of the Federal Road
Safety Corps, FRSC, allegedly under the supervision of the Unit Commander,
Mr Zubairu Mato, who engage in exhortation of money from motorists plying the
ever-busy Seme- Badagry road has been uncovered.

The officials, it was gathered usually demand between N200 and N500 ransom
from commercial vehicle operators per trip after which they overlook any default
in compliance with road safety regulations.

Failure to pay the bribe, it was gathered, the FRSC officials will victimize the
defiant commercial vehicle operator by raking up spurious charges against the
affected driver.

A source disclosed that commercial buses are made to pay N200 per trip while
lorry and tipper drivers pay N500 per trip.

One of the commercial bus operators on the route narrated his experience in
the hands of the Corps members.

”On this particular day, they recognized my bus. So, they asked me to stop. I
did and they ran a check on me and found out that my particulars were correct.
But one of them told me to come out from my bus and asked if I didn’t want to
cooperate.

I pretended that I was going to get the money from the bus, but I
immediately sped off after entering my bus and that was how I ran into trouble
with them. They arrested me the following day and took my vehicle to their
office. ”

According to him, the owner of the bus took the vehicle from him after paying
N25,000 to collect it from the FRSC office in Badagry. ” These people are making life unbearable for us, they are even worse than the
police. They will seize your vehicle and ask you to pay N25,000 to collect it in
their office if you refuse to give them the N200 bribe.”

”They did it to me before, and because of that the owner collected his bus from
me because I didn’t have N25,000 to pay them” said the victim.

A reliable source told African Examiner that the corrupt activity is encouraged
by the Badagry Unit Commander, Zubairu Mato, whom they alleged ensure that
officers loyal to him are constantly posted on the “juicy” route. Each of the four
daily patrol shifts on that route, according to our source pay the Unit
Commander the sum of N3,000 per day.

Our source hinted that a certain group of officers popularly known as ”Mato’s
boys” in the Unit are permanently posted on the Badagry-Seme axis contrary to
the rotation as contained in the unit’s African Examiner further gathered that the patrol teams involved in this illegal
activity pay cash to fuel their vehicles at various petrol stations rather than use
the official coupons through the logistic department.

By African Examiner.

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