Apongbon Bridge Fire: FG Issues 7-Days Ultimatum To Vacate Under Bridges In Lagos..
All traders and other illegal occupants under over twenty bridges in Lagos State have been directed to vacate the facilities before the end of this month or face forceful eviction.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, gave the ultimatum during an emergency meeting between the Federal Ministry of Works delegation and the Lagos State Government officials to review the Apongbon Bridge fire incident.
According to the Director, Highways, Bridges and Design, Mr Oluropo Oyetade, who represented the Ministry, while the area has been cordoned off, an assessment of the defects caused by the inferno shall be taken immediately when the area returns to normalcy.
“I was about to enter a meeting concerning the Third Mainland Bridge before I was hurriedly ordered by the Honourable Minister to come here to give his directive and mandate that he has given to me, to announce that the area (Apongbon Bridge fire) should be cordoned off, which we have done.
“And that the inspection of the defects caused by this inferno shall be taken immediately when the place cools down.
”But the most important thing that I must deliver here is that, all the occupants under our bridges, particularly in Lagos, we are giving them seven days to pack away.
“Seven days counting from today. By March 31, the task force will swing into action and we will impound all recalcitrant elements that we find under the bridges.
“They shall be forcefully evicted. Not only that, they will be made to pay for any items, if we have to remove them.
“Let me repeat and make myself clear, all occupants under our bridges, we have over 20 bridges in Lagos, should move before March 31,” he said.
He emphasised that a task force would embark on enforcement of recovery of the Right of Way on all the 20 bridges in Lagos as from March 31.
It would be recalled that firefighters battled frantically to put out the inferno under the Apongbon Bridge, on Wednesday morning, following a fire incident that gutted several shops in a makeshift market, under the Apongbon Bridge, leading to a chaotic traffic situation, as vehicular movements in the axis was grounded.