Magodo Residents Warn Against Residential Estate On Flood Plain

+ Seeks Sanwo Olu’s Intervention to Avert Clear and Present Danger
Residents of High Brow Magodo GRA Phases One and Two in Lagos State have once again called on the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babjide Olusola Sanwo Olu to immediately stop the planned conversion of a natural flood plain, which is prone to heavy annual flooding, into a residential estate
The residents said the plan amounts to despoliation of the green belt zone and will destroy the ecosystem and the peace of the area.
According to them, “We are calling on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to save our environment, lives and property from the plan to avoid a repeat of the awful incident in the neighbouring Isheri North in October 2019, where buildings collapsed and lives were lost, overnight.
Chairman and Secretary of the Community Development Association (CDA), Oyebode Ojomo and Tony Ebinum respectively, in a statement said: “We cannot sit back, fold our arms, watch and allow similar incident of more grievous dimension happen to us when we can fight to prevent it now. As it is said ‘prevention is better than cure’.
“These flood plains are designed to receive water, so as not to cause flooding in developed areas but sheer greed and avarice are at the centre stage propelling the land grabbers to move into the plain with the intention to sell and develop private estates and in the process destroy the ecosystem and the peace of the area.”
The statement was prompted by media reports on February 6 and 7, on a fresh plot by “a property development company, traditional authorities and the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Land Matters in concert with the newly appointed acting General Manager of New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), O. J. Aboyeji, to convert a natural flood plain that is prone to heavy annual flooding into a residential estate.
“The new NTDA helmsman had recently called a meeting with the CDA executive of Gateway Zone Estate Magodo GRA Phase 1, Isheri, Lagos State. The meeting turned out to be a monologue of threats and intimidation to railroad the CDA into teaming up with him and his collaborators to consent to the environmental degradation of the green belt area despite the opposition of the estate and against the opinions of environmental experts in the private and public sectors. The green area is a vast gorge adjoining our estate.
“The reaction of our representatives at the meeting was that of shock and disdain that public official whose brief include the protection of public interest could show such insensitivity to the genuine public outcry that greeted the initial exposition of this sinister plot. Several red flags have been raised at different platforms emphasising the imminent threats to human lives and property if the Lagos State government permits the despoliation of the Green Belt Zone, which essentially and primarily is a flood plain.
“We are further dismayed that some civil servants and lawmakers could embark on such an ominous venture under the exemplary government of Governor Sanwo-Olu, who is reputed for professionalism, administrative ingenuity, exemplary leadership and strict adherence to the rule of law.
“At the meeting with the NTDA officials at their office, the CDA executive members were shocked when events at the meeting clearly showed that the NTDA had made a 360-degree turn from its previously sound position that an estate could not be sited on the flood plain.”
Meanwhile the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako carried out an assessment visit of the Magodo wetland last week.
During the visit, the Commissioner observed the state of development within the wetland, where some buildings were either tilting or showing cracks and other signs raising questions about their integrity.
Salako reiterated that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, being responsible for the maintenance of orderly, livable and sustainable environment in the State, would continue to implement the State’s Policy of “ZeroTolerance” on all illegal physical developments, including the regrettable encroachment of the Sensitive/Ecological Zones.
He explained that this move became imperative in order to preserve and guide against the misuse or abuse of all Greenbelts,Gorges, Water bodies, Wetlands and other vulnerable natural Landscapes in every part of the State.
As a result, he directed the sealing of all unapprroved developments within the wetland.
The Commissioner was accompanied on the visit by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Hon. Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Arc. Foluso Adebayo Dipe, General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority,  Funmi Oshifuye, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Engr.  Biola Kosegbe and General Manager, New Towns Developmemt Authority, Kunle Aboyeji

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