Coastal Road Project: Lagos Community Urges Works Minister to Ignore Distractors

Sunday Okobi

The people and residents of the Okun-Ajah community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi to ignore those they described as distractors in the alignment imbroglio in the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project.

They lamented that some elements in the community, including the Baale, have attempted to pressurise the Minister of Works, David Umahi, to change the already signed Lagos-Calabar coastal road alignment.

Some residents had accused the Minister of Works of altering the long-established right of way in order to preserve the property of violators.

The residents accused the minister of deviating from the original right of way “by specifically directing surveyors of the Federal Government of Nigeria (Ministry of Works) on the project to establish a fresh right of way, create a new alignment and alter the road course into the area where their plots of lands and houses were situated, an area which was not covered by the long-established right of way.

The people, therefore urged the minister to maintain the standard that he is known for, as they petition President Bola Tinubu and the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to call to order those causing confusion over the road alignment matter.

In a statement  made available to journalists, they alleged that some agitators, who visited the federal controller of works for Lagos State recently, noted that the present alignment will cause the demolition of 2,000 houses, a claim that is utterly false.

The highway has generated a lot of controversy. It has also affected Landmark, a private business that sits along the Atlantic Ocean beachfront in Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to the statement, “In the matter of fact, the alignment as it presently stands defines the Coastal Road project, as it passes by the coastal area as it should be. “Yes, the present alignment isn’t the main alignment originally proposed by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration in Lagos State in 2006, neither is it the second realignment which accommodates law-abiding Nigerians who acquired their lands with a CofO.

“The agenda of a faction of the Okun Ajah community for a realignment back to the second alignment which was in gross disregard for lawful rights and which was recognised by the minister is to say the least wicked on the part of the agitators.

“We the other faction of the Okun Ajah community hereby appeal to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Modashiru Obasa, and the Federal Minister of Works, David Umahi, to come to our rescue. The alignment cannot be moved back to the former part as this will result to loss of both lives and property.”

The people stated that they heavily depend on the lands and property which they lawfully acquired taking into consideration the right of way for the planned coastal road.

According to them, “We are aware of the Federal Government of Nigeria decision to construct Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road and series of alignment verification commence.

Okun-Ajah community specifically has preserved the portion of the alignment gazzetted in the survey attached to the Certificate of Occupancy prepared and signed by Lagos State Surveyor General, and the alignment has been marked by Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development since 2006/2013 respectively.

 “At no point or time did we receive any formal communication that the alignment of the coastal road has been shifted from the original alignment being gazzetted by the Lagos State surveyor general. On our part, before we bought and erected our property, which clearly has a global C of O dated December 2006 No 69/69/2006AC. We have double check from Ministry of Physical Planning that we did not encroach on the Right of Way of the coastal road alignment.

 “However, the official of the Lagos State Government storm the community today and started marking houses that were not on the alignment in this regard the original alignment is what has been maintained right from the starting point which is Ahmadu Bello Way to Coplage Estate which is what is expected to be maintained all through the exercise.”

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