Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo globally, has urged Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to step in and stop the state’s continuing building demolitions.
He urged the governor to put a hold on building demolition until “all the facts are cleared.”
On Thursday, November 30, Chief Iwuanyanwu made an appeal during a news conference in Abuja.
There had been an outcry by affected residents as the government undertook what it called a move to restore sanity.
According to The Nation, The Lagos state government had pointed out that the affected structures were being demolished because they contravened the state’s laws.
The commissioner for Environment and Water Resources in the state, Tokunbo Wahab, had said more properties would be pulled down for contravening the drainage law.
Chief Nwuanyanwu said he would meet with the state governor over the demolition exercise.
He said: “It has been brought to my notice that many families have been thrown into serious difficulty due to the demolition in Lagos State.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo will establish an Ohanaeze Relief Agency to be controlled by top Igbo Leaders.
Ohaneze Ndigbo will through this Agency support Igbo citizens in distress; we will also support other Nigerians when the need arises in the spirit of brotherhood.
He added: “I have investigated what has happened in Lagos, and I appeal to the Government of Lagos State to intervene and ensure that justice is done. If anybody fails to obey the laws of the Land, the Igbo leadership will never support misconduct from any Igboman anywhere they live.
“I don’t have any doubt that there may be some instances where Igbo and perhaps other people whose property was demolished in Lagos did not fully comply with the laws of Lagos State. If any developer with impunity and without proper approval proceeds to develop a property anywhere in the world, he is taking a risk and his property stands the risk of being demolished.
“On the other hand, if the property is properly purchased, with approvals from the appropriate authority given before development, the individual deserves a happy and peaceful enjoyment of his assets. If any government demolishes the property built with the approval of the appropriate government department, such government by law must pay appropriate compensation for all the damages incurred to the owner of the building.
“I will attempt to see the Governor of Lagos State in the next few days. I will therefore appeal that the Governor of Lagos State kindly suspends the demolition of buildings until all the facts are cleared.”
The Ohanaeze leader also said he got reports of violation of building regulations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.