Resident at Tarkwa bay are counting their losses as Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Thursday stormed the area with OPERATION KUROMBE to forceful eject people from the island demolishing all structures and sparing a few which they claimed had building permits
The Lagos State Director of Technical Services, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development Muritala Adekunle-Balogun, had accused Tarkwa bay residents of sabotaging government efforts by illegally mining the oil pipeline in that area.
he said “The government cannot fold its arms where illegal occupants are sabotaging the economy of Nigeria, the Lagos State Government will not be part of it” ‘’most of the structures in the areas the team visited were illegal and did not have any approval from the government, saying that those that had permits were not demolished.
“Lagos State has not licensed anybody to occupy this place so, most structures found here are illegal structures, their owners never got any permit or approval from the Lagos State Government.
“The relaxation centres were not affected by this Operation because they have our permit, but those that did not have permit are the ones carrying out illegal activities and they are the targets of government.
“Those are the ones sabotaging the economy,” he said, adding that the Lagos State Government has a master-plan that covers all parts of the state.
For his part the General Manager, Land and Assets Administration, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Yusuf Ahmed, said that the demolition of illegal structures along the NNPC’s pipelines was an interesting and right development.
“I will say it is an interesting development for me because these people have been on NPA’s property without its permission, they have been squatters and we are interested in seeing them off.
“So, it’s a right development. For us, it has been difficult to send them out, now that they are out, we are happy. They have been there, but we have been unable to eject them.
“And since they have been engaging in illegal activities including oil bunkering, carrying and removing fuel, it has become necessary for the security agencies to come and eject them. And we are happy about it,” he said. expressed their support to the ongoing demolition of illegal structures around NNPC’s pipelines.
Meanwhile the Amnesty International, has condemned the demolition at Tarkwa Bay, and accused the Nigerian military of using excessive force on the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that not less than 300 points which were discovered along the NNPC’s pipelines used to illegally siphon petrol were dismantled by the members of the Operation during the exercise while 150,000 empty jerry cans were discovered, not less than 5,000 jerry cans with PMS were confiscated, 310 well/pits with PMS were discovered
the Operation Commander for OPERATION AWATSE, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji said that the operation would be sustained under OPERATION KUROMBE.
“There is going to be our adequate presence, both at the water-fronts and also on the Islands. So, that we will make it difficult for the criminal elements to gain a foothold on the Islands.
“I want to say never again will we allow them to perpetuate the kind of economic sabotage that they are perpetrating against the country.
“It is just a few criminal elements that have thousands of jerry cans stored in their backyards, they have wells dugged around their compounds and concealed them. Those are the ones we removed. “Most of these criminally-minded people are Ghanaians, Beninese, and Togolese citizens,” he said.