…Arrest Orchestrated By Former Military Governor Of The State—Dredgers Alleged
Lagos State Government, through its Waterfront Taskforce has arrested Federal Government licenced dredgers and forcefully took over reclaimed lands at prestigious Banana Island.
This arrest AbelNews learnt has stirred massive controversy among the dredging community.
It was learnt that most of the arrested dredgers slept in the taskforce office in Alausa and that efforts to bail them by the leadership of dredgers association and other concerned stakeholders was rebuffed
Sources close to the Island alleged that the frontal infraction at Banana island was orchestrated by a retire general (name withheld), who was also a former military governor of the state.
The former military governor it was alleged struck a deal with Lagos Government who now instructed a special waterfront taskforce to dislodge dredgers on an ongoing reclamation site which the former governor wants by all means and at any cost.
More worrisome to the dredgers association is the fact that certain Waterfront cases are in court.
The dredgers see the arrest as a clear signal by the Lagos State government to dislodge licensed operators and run them out of the state.
Speaking on the development, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Dredgers Association, Mr Richard Ntan, described the illegal arrest and detention of his members by the Lagos Government and its Waterfront Taskforce is vexatious and provocative, adding that the invasion at a legal dredging site by the state can be likened to land grabbing.
“My association is studying the development and by this interview notifying relevant structures of government to call the Lagos waterfront commissioner to order and to cause our arrested members to be set free.
“We are law abiding citizens and doing our jobs within the ambits of the law, so if anyone has issues over a site, disputed or not, to forcefully and brazenly arrest legitimate operators is undemocratic and will be challenged,” Ntan fumed.
He further alleged that the Lagos Waterfront Commissioner is misleading the governor concerning the site which the former military governor wants to grab through the use of the Lagos Taskforce on Waterfront, adding that investigation conducted by the dredgers association revealed that the ex governor was denied Federal Government permit for providing misleading information concerning the said controversial site
The dredgers further alleged that having failed in severally, the ex-governor decided to use Lagos State Waterfront Commissioner, who is alleged to be his political son to push for a takeover not minding what will happen to innocent and legitimate dredging firms and their workers, who are languishing behind bars.