Governor Babatunde Fashola
Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit at the weekend raided some areas in the state including the den of oil thieves and bunkerers in Orile and Iganmu.
Consequently, the operation led to the arrests of several hoodlums, seizures of many commercial motorcycles as well as demolition of several shanties along the roads, oil pipelines and those erected on drainage channels.
Chairman of the task force, Mr. Bayo Suleiman led more than 80 fully armed security operatives, who combed notorious areas such as Orile, Iganmu and Mushin among others with a view to sanitising the areas.
At Orile, for instance, illegal structures erected on road median and setback were demolished.
The entire axis was cleared of illegal traders operating on the median and walkways, while several okada riders plying the prohibited route were haunted down and arrested by the taskforce.
The taskforce earlier raided the Iganmu under the bridge, just behind the light rail system being constructed by the government, where oil thieves were selling diesel and petrol stolen from the vandalised pipelines.
The operatives recovered several drums of diesel while shanties erected under the bridge were demolished.
The drums of diesel were taken away by the taskforce. There was no arrest as the oil thieves inhabiting under the bridge had fled the moment the sighted the security operatives.
At Mushin, illegal structures built on drainage channels at Oloruntoyin Street were demolished while abandoned vehicles on the street were towed.
Mechanics that had turned the street into mechanic workshop were also driven away.
At Ladipo bus stop in Oshodi, the taskforce raided an Indian hemp joint and arrested several people caught smoking the dangerous weed and destroyed products seen at the site. One of the hemp smokers, in a bid to escape pushed the taskforce chairman, though was later arrested.
Speaking after the exercise, Sulaiman said what informed the raid at Iganmu under the bridge was the light rail system being constructed by the government, saying that government did not want a situation where the volatile diesel and fuel product being traded under the bridge would lead to fire outbreak and affect the light rail bridge.
He added that the Iganmu bridge “has become weak by the activities of oil bunkerers.
“We have evacuated them from that place before. We are going to monitor that place effectively from now on so that they do not return.
“At Orile, it is part of our duty to clear the area. We even cleared the area before the governor visited the other time. In Mushin, we found out that the local government had allocated the place to the people who erected shanties. If there is a fire incident in that area, it will be devastating,” the chairman said.
At the hemp joint at Ladipo, Sulaiman said the taskforce got a report of the notoriety in the area and decided to act, saying that the area had been raided on several occasion but that the smokers still found their ways there.
On several okada riders that were arrested on prohibited routes, the taskforce boss said “okada riders just have to obey the traffic law.
“We don’t want to chase them around, they should just obey. You will find out that it is only the recalcitrant ones that are disobeying the law.”