Clamp Down On Sanitation Offenders

Sanitation offender being taken into the Black Maria. Inset: Government officials addressing residents of Iddo in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area.

Tough times are here for Lagos residents who break the environmental sanitation laws as government has stepped up enforcement to ensure that people comply with the order to stay at home to clean up their surroundings during the monthly exercise.

•Government officials addressing residents of Iddo in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area on sanitation offends.

At the weekend, the enforcement machinery of the state government moved to some motor parks in the state to enforce compliance with the exercise as a result of reported cases of people flocking the parks during sanitation, waiting to travel immediately after the exercise ends.

Motor parks in the state are usually busy during sanitation hours as the union members in those parks supervise loading of passengers to travel while the exercise is ongoing, thus making a mockery of the sanitation laws.

However, last Saturday was a day travellers hiding in motor parks and garages, waiting to travel after the exercise, would never forget in a hurry as government’s enforcement team led by Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye and the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Mr. Sesan Olanrewaju, accompanied by taskforce officials and others, swooped on the sanitation law breakers at some parks in the state.

The first point of call was Mazamaza in Mile 2 area of the metropolis, where several vehicles were seen loading and awaiting the end of the exercise for them to hit the road. They were caught by surprise as the police, officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade and other security agents, swooped on them and arrested over 30 people.

A police man was among those wishing to travel, was also arrested but he seemed to enjoy preferential treatment as he was later let off the hook.

On citing government officials, some passengers and others breaking the sanitation law, scaled the fence and escaped, while those who were not quick enough, were arrested.

On sanitation days, violators arrested would be charged to court and made to pay a fine of N10,000, while owners of vehicles impounded would pay N50,000.

However, those arrested at Mile 2 were later released, being first offenders.

According to Agunsoye, “the reason why we are releasing you is because this is the first time we are visiting this park. We take sanitation exercise seriously in this state. Stay in your house and clean your environment. In August, we will be here and we will make arrest.”

“During sanitation exercise, we don’t allow any movement. Be in your homes and clean your environment. Next time, we will arrest your union leaders and prosecute them,” added Olanrewaju, Special Adviser on the Environment.

The next place of call was Iddo Motor Park in Lagos Mainland, where about 1,000 passengers and traders were seen at the park of Young Shall Grow Motors Limited, carrying on loading activities.

However, government officials have threatened to seal up the park for violating the sanitation laws.

According to Olanrewaju, government was out to sanitise the parks and ensure that loading activities were not allowed during sanitation hours, adding, “by the time we come with enforcement, we will not be telling them, but take them by surprise.”

On his part, Agunsoye said “these people should be able to contribute their quota to this system. As regard sensitisation, the local government chairman will call a meeting of the park unions and tell them what to do.

“Next month, when we come here, we will act appropriately. You need to collaborate with government to get to the next level,” he said.

4 COMMENTS

  1. EYE SERVE AND PATRICK, MANY THANKS TO THE TWO OF YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS. I CRITICISED THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS AND I WAS CALLED NAMES. SOMETHINGS ARE COMING TO PASS NOW AND I DO NOT WHAT THE LIKES OF OMO NAIJA, ABEY SHAS, ETC WILL SAY

  2. The commisioner na bushman. He must have travelled to civilised countries and must have seen that electorates are not forced to do a job that the govt is supposed to be doing i.e cleaning the surrounding environment.Govt is supposed to get out vehicles and paid workers related to cleaning the enviroment , to do the job.I’ve been outside the country for a while now and what i see is that when u come outside in the morning to go to work, the areas around ur house is already clean bc paid cleaners who come around very early and using all sorts of instruments, including vehicles, have done it.Pls stop deceiving us. Its enough

  3. The commisioner na bushman. He must have travelled to civilised countries and must have seen that electorates are not forced to do a job that the govt is supposed to be doing i.e cleaning the surrounding environment.Govt is supposed to get out vehicles and paid workers related to cleaning the enviroment , to do the job.I’ve been outside the country for a while now and what i see is that come outside in the morning to go to work, the areas around ur house is already clean bc paid cleaners who come around very early and using all sorts of instruments, including vehicles, have done it.Pls stop deceiving us. Its enough

  4. I strongly think it is a gross violation of freedom of movement of right thinking Lagosians to hold us to ransom and to false imprison us with the monthly sanitation exercise.

    If the government feels passionately about the environment, it should provide the timely refuse collection system in place and street maintenance officers to clean up our environment as it is done in developed countries.

    After all, the working class and even craftsmen pay their taxes to the Lagos State government and only end up getting stress and head-aches on the so-called roads which they claim to be maintaining.

    This government is not providing jobs nor roads yet it follows up with our various employers to collect its taxes, refuse collection, water bills and TV & Radio licence when we barely listen to its local networks because of the government praise singing advertisement it delivers everyday. In sane society, the taxes we pay to the state government should have given us better roads and stable power supply and even constant portable water but it is not the case with Lagos State.

    Why should the punishment for such civil wrong be greater than a criminal penalty. It is wrong and morally unsound to penalise a citizen of FGN with the sum of N50k for walking on the street on the last saturday of the month, when the constitution says he has a right to the freedom of movement. This penalty is unconstitutional, morally unsound and an attempt to make criminals of every right thinking citizen of Lagos State.

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