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Lagos releases Statement on Demolition of School’s Footbridge

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Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

The Lagos State Government has released a statement on the removal of a footbridge built by Dowen College on Bisola Durosinmi-Etti Road, Lekki Phase 1.

Singer Lami Phillips-Gbadamosi had taken to Instagram to share a video of government officials preparing to demolish the structure.

She said the school received a permit from the government to build the bridge. She however said the government “suddenly decided that this was going to be a 2-way road”.

Watch her speak below:

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#LamiPhillips laments #Lagos government's move to demolish the pedestrian bridge built by a school for its students' use She says: – The LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT! For anyone who asks.. the school has its permits, pays its taxes, has gone out of its way to find logical and sustainable solutions. Here’s the thing.. life will go on.. but what is wrong is wrong! They will come and ask for our votes Abi? One government allows something .. another one comes to frustrate. If they demolished it with plans to work with the community to solve the problem of the sudden dual carriage way they suddenly realized they wanted.. it won’t be a problem. The board of governors and the management of the school for years have been asking for ways to help the community as they started this project.. they played politics and pointing fingers to each other. God dey ! Please share! We won’t keep quiet any longer! This is the generation that has a voice!! @akinwunmiambode you are a good man so please advice your government . Hard work will pay. Cheating and political games won’t! Biko who is running for governor of Lagos State next term.. let me dust my PVC and intensify my prayers! #BellaNaija

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Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan in a statement said that the completion of the 2.1kilometres Trunk C dual carriageway which the footbridge encroached on was to decongest Admiralty Way and provide quicker access to the Ikoyi Link Bridge.

Bamigbetan said the Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1 was conceived in the early 80s covering 1,046 hectares, stretching from the Lagos Lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean and of the Lekki-Epe Expressway cutting across the scheme.

“Due to the nature of the terrain and to reduce the incidence of flooding within the scheme; provision was made for the construction of primary drainage channel within the scheme. One of the primary drainage channel is along the Bisola Durosinmi-Etti Road which cuts across the scheme from the main entrance, Lekki Epe Expressway through the northern portion of the scheme to the Freedom Way.

That Bisola Durosinmi-Etti road is a dual-carriage way but one lane of the broad was constructed in the late 90’s while the other lane was not done due to paucity of funds then; however overtime, various forms of illegal development activities were identified within the unconstructed other lane as well as the setback abutting the primary drainage channel. These include erection of wire mesh fences, construction of car parks, shanties within the setbacks, development of outdoor bars and construction of footbridges over the open drainage channel,” the commissioner said.

The Commissioner said an agency of the Government, the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) “noticed the illegal construction of a footbridge by Dowen College in 2013 and promptly issued a contravention notice to the school on January 13, 2013 to stop it but the management defied the directive.”

“Similar notices by other government agencies under the Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development were blatantly ignored with arrogant defiance. Rather than comply, Dowen College wrote letters of appeals seeking a concession to be allowed to sustain its illegality by authorizing its encroachment of the government’s master plan. This was not acceptable and at no time did government permit the illegal construction,” Bamigbetan said.

He said the government asked Dowen College to remove the offending structure to facilitate the completion of the dual carriageway and was compelled to spend public funds to do so when the school refused.

The state government also released a video containing its response. Watch below:

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