Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday disclosed that the growing incidence of cult clashes, killing and insecurity in Ilaje in Bariga area of the state inspired his administration to construct a world-class jetty in the riverine community.
The governor stated that at the height of killing and cult rivalry in the riverine community, the state government decided to prohibit dredging and other related activities in the area as the first step to resolve grave security condition.
He made the remarks at the inauguration of Ilaje road, Bariga Waterfront Jetty and five ferries his administration developed to complete the state’s integrated transport management system and diversify the mode of transportation within the metropolis.
After unveiling the projects, Ambode noted that in 2015, incessant cult war in Ilaje, a sprawling riverine community, propelled him to evolve a lasting solution to the security challenges in the entire community.
“What we are doing here today is strategic. I will remind you what actually brought us here so that in future if you are talking about urban regeneration. You can use this particular project as a very clear example of how to turn things around.
“A lot of people have forgotten. In 2915, the beginning of our security challenges actually started from this particular spot. There were always cult rivalries in this particular community. People were actually going house-to- house to kill each other.
“I tried to find out what was actually responsible. We discovered that a lot of the cult members were having free access to money by dredging the sand and selling it. They were making free money to use it to harm other people in the community.
“So, when we came towards the end of 2015, we visited the community. We saw that it was a dump site. We were looking for a way to solve the security challenges in the community. We decided to stop sand dredging in this whole neighbourhood,” the governor explained.
The governor said solving the security issues then became a huge challenge, noting that the state government decided “to construct a jetty in the area to tackle the security challenges. What we are unveiling today is a response to security challenges in this area.”
In line with his administration’s policy of developing an efficient integrated transport model which would ease the traffic on roads, Ambode said the state government decided to unveil the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, five transport ferries and the Ilaje road.
He said the three projects were part of the grand plan to decongest state roads by getting more people to use the waterways transportation, saying the new Ilaje Road “will serve as a very good access road to the Jetty as well as opening up this community.
“The Bariga Jetty will serve as a terminal where people in this part of our state can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah. This jetty has a 150-car parking lot where people can park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the State.
“Of the five new ferries we are commissioning today, four are passenger ferries while one is a car barge which can move cars to the other jetties as may be required by people who want to drive in the other locations. The thinking behind these projects is inclusion; an inclusion where every resident of our State has a say, feels the impact of government in their lives and is given the opportunity to realise their dreams,” Ambode explained.