AN APPEAL TO GOVERNOR SANWOOLU ON LEKKI PHASE 1 STREET GATES The 1999 Constitution in its section 14(2)(a) makes security and welfare of the people the primary purpose of government. To this end, government must do all it can to secure lives and property of the people. In the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic and the EndSARS protests, Lekki Phase 1 witnessed unprecedented influx of criminals and street urchins, who pounced upon helpless residents to loot their assets. The only people that were spared of that invasion were those that had street gates mounted at the entrance of their residential areas. This encouraged other residents to develop the idea of street gates. The second reason behind the street gates is the massive influx of commercial entities, cart pushers, street urchins, itinerant professional beggars and environmental pollutants. As responsible citizens, the affected residents approached the Lagos State Government for permission to erect these gates and they were granted in writing, in some cases upon payment of some prescribed fees and in abiding with some regulations as to the time and duration of locking and opening of these gates. In the past three years, security in Lekki Phase 1 estate has improved drastically, partly due to these street gates and the collaboration between the residents, the government and the relevant security agencies. On a particular day when the President was visiting Lagos for his 2023 Christmas holidays, the traffic in the Lagos Island and Lekki Phase 1 areas was at a snail speed, causing motorists and commuters to spend hours on the road. Somehow, a wrong information was fed to the government that the cause of the traffic was the street gates mounted in Lekki Phase 1. In an operation that was executed in commando style, street gates in Lekki Phase 1 were dismantled and carted away by officials of the Lagos State Government. This has left the neighborhood porous and left many residents exposed. The talk about the aesthetics of Lekki Phase 1 cannot be a reason to leave residents in this dangerous condition. Had the government succeeded in providing adequate security for the citizens, there will be no need for self help by the people to secure protection. A man must first be alive and safe for him to appreciate aesthetics. My appeal to Governor Babajide Sanwoolu is to work with the Lekki Phase 1 Residents Association in order to achieve a workable arrangement that will guarantee security and safety of lives and property in the vast Estate. It is not proper that Government is the one compromising the security of its own citizens and exposing them to avoidable danger.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN Lekki, Lagos.
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