Ambode Condemns Lekki Unrest, Laments Threat to $15bn Investment

  • Asks warring communities to embrace peace

Gboyega Akinsanmi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, thursday condemned communal conflict that killed a police inspector and siblings at Lekki communities at the weekend, saying he would not entertain any threat to $15 billion investment in Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).
Consequently, the governor asked the warring communities to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance, saying no meaningful development could happen in any area prone to violence and breakdown of law and order at the slightest provocation.

He gave the advice after accessing the two communities yesterday, stating that it was indeed unfortunate such clash broke out at the time the state was marking its fiftieth anniversary.

Some youths of Oriyanrin, an Ibeju-Lekki community had attended Kilajolu, a masquerade festival at Ilagbo last Saturday when a clash broke out between the two communities. Some elders of Ilagbo were said to have sent the youths away.

The communal clash, which broke out between the youths of Ilagbo and Oniyanrin, turned bloody and violent, resulted allegedly in the death of three persons and wanton destruction of properties.

The state government had recently said the LFTZ, Africa’s fastest growing economic zone, had attracted $15 billion from domestic and foreign investors in the last eleven years of its existence.

After accessing the impact of the clash, yesterday, the governor said the state government had invested so much in the economic zone in the last decade, noting that he would not allow anything that would constitute threat to huge investments in the two communities.
Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, said no meaningful development could take place in any area noted for violence at the slightest provocation.

He condemned the level of lawlessness the residents at the two communities, noting that he was not happy at what he saw in terms of destruction of properties and equally the loss of lives.

He said the state government “has invested a lot within this community and many local and international business are still coming. But we will scare investors if we choose to resolve our differences through violence, which is not what our dear state is known for.
“I was told you had lived together for many years. I was also told you had even married from each other. Then we should explore peaceful means to resolve our disputes. If tempers continue to rise, especially among our youths, the traditional and religious leaders should ensure amicable resolution of disputes within communities.”

Ambode described the Ibeju-Lekki axis as the future of Lagos, explaining that both government and individual private investors had invested heavily in the area, warning that his administration would not allow such communal clashes “to threaten these investments.
“The state government shall not lack the will to bear the full weight of the law on whoever threatens the investments and the peaceful coexistence among people in this area,” he stated.