Appeals to residents to protect public utilities, embrace sanitary habits, eschew violence
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday undertook an inspection tour of on-going and completed inner city roads and other projects in Shomolu, Ojodu and Kosofe council areas appealing to residents to protect public utilities, eschew violence and embrace sanitary habits.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the day-long inspection that also took him to the on-going Eko Free Health Mission, Casablanca at Power line Oke-Ira in Ojodu LCDA, the Governor said the protection of public utilities was the responsibility of communities for whom such utilities were built pointing out that they were built with the people’s taxes.
Citing the incident where residents of one of the communities turned a newly constructed canal into a waste dump, the Governor declared, “Communities must take ownership of their neighbourhoods. The money we spend every year to come and clean refuse dumped in canals is enormous and I don’t know any place that we strive to be like that do any of these things”.
“Now this is a newly constructed canal but residents have literally turned it into a waste bin. That is not government doing that. We must choose as a people too how we want to live. Every time we point accusing fingers at our elected and appointed public servants, there is a lot we have left as citizens in our communities in terms of the responsibilities that we have”, the Governor said.
He expressed dismay that although Government set up well organized waste management process through the Lagos State Waste Management Authority and the Private Sector Participants (PSP), the people have refused to use them preferring instead to dump their refuse in gutters and other unauthorized places.
“We have set up waste management groups, PSPs, so why are people not patronizing them. Bag your refuse and give it to them and pay like they do everywhere in the world. Now the rains are coming, we have cleaned the canals, we have done concrete lining to accelerate its capacity to discharge water and deflood your areas and you now go and dump refuse in it and flood comes and you shout government”, the Governor noted.
Calling on the people to obey the law of the land, Governor Fashola said obedience to the law would ensure security and better life for the people as no progress or development could thrive in the midst of lawlessness and disorderliness. He added, “There is need for a change of values, a change of attitude, increased compliance with law and order. We must choose to live within the law, if we choose that, life will be a lot better”.
According to the Governor, “When you see all of the things that make life more challenging for us we see that they are actions that lie either outside the law or in conflict with the law; illegal buildings, illegal stalls, illegal motor parks, illegal parking places, urinating in public places, people using public setback to display vehicles for sale as if it were a car mall. All of that we must reclaim back”.
“Once we come back to the law, this place is a beautiful place; this land is a beautiful land and it can protect and provide for all of us, but everybody must restrain themselves, everybody must take responsibility for what is theirs to look after and discharge their own duties”, he said.
Cautioning against unsanitary habits like urinating in public places, Governor Fashola said although Government would continue to intervene at the grassroots level to bring healthcare close to the people, the emphasis of his administration was on prevention of disease through embracing healthy and sanitary habits.
“We were in Ogba for the purpose of the Primary Healthcare development that we run from local government to local government taking healthcare to the people at their doorsteps. But the message is that we must prevent diseases from occurring by doing away with habits that bring them about like urinating or defecating in open places”, the Governor said.
He continued, “Prevention is the first line of healthcare defense and prevention requires us to embrace healthy and sanitary habits. Public urination and defecation are not healthy habits, they predispose us to disease and they make our environment totally unsanitary and make our people vulnerable”.
Governor Fashola, who disclosed that security reports picked up some incidence of violence in Shomolu and Bariga, said although Government was currently monitoring developments in the two places, a more interesting aspect was to know why the youths in the areas engage in violence and gang fighting instead of putting their energies in more productive ventures.
“I am just interested now beyond law enforcement to understand what are the underlying causes of the existence, in the very first place, of violent street gangs as against community clubs where people can exchange ideas in terms of growing up, playing sports”, he said.
Appealing to the media to assist in the campaign against lawlessness, unhealthy and unsanitary habits and violence, Governor Fashola declared, “We are building sports centres, we are providing these facilities, why are the young people not using them and engaging their energies in more productive enterprises, why are they involved in violent clashes, I want to understand that and to appeal to them to put an end to violence and turn their energies to more productive purposes”.
Roads inspected include Salami Shuaibu Street, Adaranijo Street, and Onisemo Street all in Shomolu Local Government Area and Adetoro, Adelaja Street, George Essien Udomi Street and Ishola Solomon Street in Magodo.
The Governor was conducted round the inner city roads at Somolu by the Zonal Engineer, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engineer (Mrs.) Bimbo Makinde while he was received and conducted round the roads in Magodo by the General Manager, New Town Development Authority, Dr Adeyemi Isiba and members of his team.
At the Skill Acquisition Centre, Isheri, the Governor was conducted round by the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire while the Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Disu Holloway also took the Governor round the Garment workshop where costumes to be used for the forthcoming carnival are being made.
Governor Fashola was accompanied on the tour by the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, his Information and Strategy and Commerce and Industry counterparts, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and Mrs. Sola Oworu as well as the Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola among other members of the State Executive Council and top government functionaries.