By Adewole Kehinde
“Let’s choose to do something really difficult, something that saves lives, and let’s do that thing with people we love.” Donald Miller
I just read a piece that looks more like sponsored news on Sahara Reporters titled “How Inspector-General Egbetokun Violated Court Ruling, Ordered Policemen To Demolish POWA Shopping Complex In Lagos As Officers Loot Goods Worth Millions Of Naira.”.
Common reasons for putting down a building are usually when the building has become a hazard and is dangerous to use as it may collapse.
I am aware that in 2019, the POWA complex was marked for demolition, but the occupants resisted the demolition.
Even though the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, issued a clarification on the demolition, he said that the planned demolition and reconstruction of the Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA) Shopping Complex, Ikeja, Lagos, was in good faith and the interest of all concerned.
He further said that “the decision to demolish and reconstruct is predicated on the fact that professional opinion indicates that the structure as it is constitutes a looming environmental hazard, as the site is prone to flooding and may collapse.
“There is also the need for immediate landscaping and reconstruction. The planned demolition and reconstruction will be in phases and are in good faith for the best interest of all concerned.
“All necessary legal requirements have been duly met. The current occupants of the complex have been given more than enough notice of the demolition to enable them to evacuate from the facility in good time.
“Necessary steps have been taken to temporarily accommodate them within the same complex while the reconstruction lasts.
The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, is a man who will never compromise on human lives, hence the best decision in taking down the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) Shopping Complex, Phase I and II, located on No. 30-33, Otigba Street, Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State.
It is unfortunate for the traders to have said that the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, took the law into his hands and contemptuously overreached the order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.
We are all aware of the many buildings that collapse in Lagos State, and to avoid another disaster in waiting, the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, after consultation with a professional opinion that indicated that the building as it constitutes a looming environmental hazard, as the site is prone to flooding and may collapse, had to immediately swing into action by demolishing the building.
I spoke to some residents around the POWA Building, especially Phase I and II Shopping Complex, Ikeja, and they confided in me that the buildings are truly dilapidated, defaced, and, distressed and that the police authority has done the right thing by demolishing them as advised by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
I strongly support the demolition to avoid another disaster, as the buildings pose a danger to the community.
I am aware that the Lagos State Building Control Agency, which came into being through the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2010, backed the demolition of the dilapidated, defaced, and distressed POWA Complex.
LASBCA is an agency of government set up to ensure that basic minimum standards are maintained in the construction and renovation of existing and new buildings to be safe, healthy, accessible, and habitable for present and future generations.
I am also aware that an application for a demolition permit was submitted to the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority accompanied by photographs of POWA structures.
I am sure that the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL), established by law in 2006 with the responsibility to curb the incidence of the incessant collapse of buildings and civil engineering infrastructures, will never kick against the demolition as experts have certified the buildings to be dilapidated, defaced, and distressed.
I, therefore, called on the Traders and Occupiers of Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) Shopping Complex, Phase I and II, to cooperate with the police authority in saving lives above making a profit by reconstructing the POWA Plaza as planned and moving to the temporary site made for them within the same complex while the reconstruction lasts.
Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. E-mail: email@example.com