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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Lagos government demolishes informal settlements along Red rail tracks, seizes 359 motorcycles

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The Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, popularly known as the task force, on Wednesday cleared out shanties erected by “defiant squatters” and impounded motorcycles of riders along the newly commissioned Red rail line.

The unit’s spokesperson, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, said that the shanties were demolished along Fagba corridor.

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The two-day enforcement exercise is a follow-up after the launch of the railway project of the state.

The operation, led by the agency’s chairperson, Shola Jejeloye, covered areas like the Fagba rail track, Iju-Ishaga, Abattoir and Pen Cinema, resulting in the confiscation of motorcycles that operated on restricted routes.

Mr Jejeloye said that miscreants who loitered around the abattoir supported the motorcycle operators in resisting arrest and causing mayhem to prevent the confiscation, but were subdued by the enforcement team.

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“It was a complex operation seizing these motorcycles from their recalcitrant operators due to the presence of miscreants lurking around the abattoir. They threw stones and objects at us in order to thwart our effort but they were no match for our tactical superiority,” Mr Jejeloye said.

“The presence of motorcycles and shanties along the rail tracks pose significant safety risks to residents, passersby and commuters who choose to patronise both the train and commercial motorcycle. Clearing them completely improves the aesthetic appeal of the rail area and would also mitigate encroachment on rail infrastructure in the state,” the statement read.

Mr Jejeloye noted that criminality and hooliganism, which are prevalent in these areas, are enabled mainly by motorcycle operators and squatters who turn to crime and rob residents and train commuters.

He further said that the enforcement exercise would go a long way in reducing crime and incidents of ‘bag snatching’ often perpetrated by the riders in the axis.

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“We will keep going till every motorcycle operator gets the message that Lagos highways and other restricted routes are no place for them. If you want to operate a motorcycle, you either abide by the rules or risk having your bikes impounded,” he said.

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