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Sanwo-Olu warns illegal traders, squatters on Lagos-Ibadan express will forfeit their properties



The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has warned that illegal occupants, traders and squatters who have been cleared off the Lagos-Badagry expressway will lose their properties and means of livelihood should they return back to that corridor.

This is as the governor declared zero tolerance for encroachment on the right-of-way by anybody and said that the Task Force set up by the state is working to secure the entire right-of-way, remove miscreants and illegal trading activities along the entire corridor.

The warning was given by the visibly angry Governor during an inspection of the clean-up exercise along the 10-lane Lagos-Badagry Highway.

The exercise, being carried out by the Special Intervention Team, is led by Area Commander of Ikeja Police Division, Bayo Suleiman, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).

Continuous palliative maintenance

In the ongoing clean-up operation, which started last month, the special Taskforce has successfully ejected illegal occupants and traders from Doyin section of the highway towards Mile 2, paving the way for road reconstruction and regeneration of the corridor.

Sanwo-Olu, who had one-on-one engagements with residents and traders along the route, assured that the Doyin section of the highway would will be properly reconstructed after the rainy season.

However, the Governor directed Lagos State Public Works to ensure continued palliative maintenance on the failed section.

Zero tolerance for encroachment

Urging the residents to report illegal activities to the authorities, Sanwo-Olu said there would be continuous enforcement along the corridor and warned ejected squatters against returning to build shanties on the road.

  • He said: “We have just finished an inspection of the ongoing cleanup exercise along the Lagos-Badagry corridor, where I moved round to see outcome of the operation. Our Taskforce is working to secure the entire right-of-way, remove miscreants and illegal trading activities along the entire corridor. I am delighted with the results of the cleanup work and I have given strong warning to residents and traders in the area.
  • “People saw the need for the environmental clean-up and they appreciated our efforts to preserve the corridor. We have been able to move all commercial vehicles that hitherto clogged the loops all the way to Mile 2 from Orile. We are going to wall off the road in order to keep the entire stretch tidy for reconstruction and beautification.
  • “It will be zero tolerance for encroachment on our right-of-way by anybody. We will not allow ejected traders return; those who want to return should be prepared for forfeiture of their goods. All the cabinet members that have responsibility in this regard have been instructed to continue this cleanup exercise. We will stop this bad habit and reckless behaviour, while ensuring that we bring back environmental sanity.”

Resistance to be met with stiff force

Sanwo-Olu directed the special Taskforce to immediately begin the extensive clean-up of the other side of the expressway, following the ejection notice served to all illegal traders and squatters on the highway.

The affected people have limited time to move their wares. The Governor warned that any form of resistance would be met with stiff force.

Sanwo-Olu moved to Oke Arin Market at Apogbon axis of Eko Bridge to monitor compliance with the government’s regulations regarding the use of the space under the bridge.

  • The Governor said, “We are here to ensure that the space under the bridge is strictly used for commercial parking and petty trade. Anything that has to do with mechanical work, welding or electrical work must not be seen under any of our bridges. We are hoping that those using the allocated space will keep to the guidelines and maintain sanity.’’

Sanwo-Olu said the effort was aimed at improving public safety and protecting public facilities for durability. He disclosed that the exercise will be extended to other parts of the State, including Agege, Lagos Island, Ikeja and other areas where illegal traders have encroached on the right-of-way of public transport.

Babaloja of Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area, Alhaji Kabiru Abubakare, who joined the Governor during the inspection, pledged to work with the State Government to ensure compliance to the directive.

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