By DAPO AKINREFON
LAGOS—THE Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the Federal Government to halt the sand filling of the ocean and lagoons in Lagos State in the overall interest of the country.
The party also berated the Lagos State Government over what it described as “deceptive and diversionary evacuation of occupants from areas which direct government negligence has caused calamities.”
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Gani Taofik, the party said the call was on the heels of the frequent ocean surges which recently claimed lives and property at the beaches.
It alleged that the unnecessary loss of lives and property should be blamed on the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN-led administration which has “remained adamant, irresponsible and only pursuing business interest that it chose to sandfill the ocean in its purported Eko Atlantic Project where a plot of land is being sold for N350 million.”
According to the party, “We are very pained by the wanton loss of lives and property prevalent only along the coastal lines of Lagos beaches. We sincerely sympathise with the affected families.
”We are, however, vindicated because we had continually criticised the unprofessional manner the state government particularly encroaches the ocean and lagoon without due ecological and environmental impact assessment.
“The Lagos State Government has abandoned the welfare of the residents and embarked on all sorts of misplaced, bourgeoisie projects at the expense of the majority of ordinary Lagosians.
”One of such projects is the Eko Atlantic Project, where the ocean is being sandfilled to build another Dubai in Lagos and currently a plot there is being sold at N350 million with minimum of two plots to be purchased.
”The effect of the project is the recurrent ocean surge and flooding around the state after every rainfall and which has led to frequent loss of lives and property.”
While it warned of dire consequences for the state, the party said it may lead the state into extinction if not checked by the Federal Government.
It said: “How on earth can a focused government waste billions of tax-payers’ money to open up ocean and lagoon when it has vast undeveloped lands that would cost far less to open up?
“Surely’, the selfish consideration of the ACN- led Lagos State Government has beclouded meaningful development in the state. Imagine also the contradiction in the state government demolition of Makoko on allegation of lagoon encroachment, while the same government is actually sand filling our Bar Beach.
‘The party is consequently demanding a stop to the Eko Atlantic Project and immediate compensation to the families who have lost members and propertý as a result of the surge.”