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Lagos asks residents in flashpoint areas to relocate ahead rains

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says plastic waste has become a problem

By Dada Jackson

The Lagos State Government has urged residents in flashpoint areas within the state to relocate to a safer place ahead of September when the rains may be heavy and frequent, which may wreck havoc.

The state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, stated this, just as he noted that plastic waste had become a problem for the state.

He also hinted that the state government was partnering plastic producers with a view to finding a lasting solution to this menace.

He spoke at a press briefing to give an update on the state’s preparedness for the resumption of heavy rainfall in the month of September.

He said, “The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) at the beginning of every year with 2021 inclusive usually forecasts the expected rainfall temperature patterns spanning the entire country.”

He said the peculiarity of the state as a coastal state and its strategic position as the economic hub of the nation made it expedient for the state to disseminate crucial information on the 2021 rainfall prediction earlier in the year to allay the fears of residents and prepare them ahead of the likely consequences of the rains.

He said that as predicted by NIMET, the state would experience normal rainfall of between 238 and 261 days this year, while the maximum annual rainfall for 2021 is predicted to be 1,747mm.

His words: “Due to the pro-active nature of measures we put in place, when Lagos witnessed a heavy downpour of over eight hours on Friday, July 16, by the next morning which was some 10 hours after the rain subsided, all the flash flood which had submerged many homes and vehicles especially in Marina had disappeared thus vindicating our stand.

“The same level of preparedness is what we have in store for the advisory by the management of Ogun Osun River Basin Authority on release of water from the Oyan Dam in September.”

Bello further noted, “We are stepping up the dredging and cleaning of all our channels and would also use the opportunity to once again put the residents of low-lying areas areas especially those in the river banks like Agiliti, Ajegunle, Isheri North, Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota and Shibiri etc on notice to be at alert that they may have to relocate to higher grounds to save their lives and properties when the water is released by Oyan Dam authorities.

The commissioner pointed out the state government would also be collaborating with sister state of Ogun in order to optimally respond to whatever challenges that the release of water could bring to the two states and the areas contiguous to the Oyan Dam.

He said, “Let me also state that due to the costal nature of Lagos State, one major contributory factor to possible flooding is Sea level rise. This has always posed risks to us as a coastal state, as anytime there is high tidal movement, it may ‘lock up’ the discharge points of our drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge. Such occurrences also cause backflows, resorting to flooding. But as soon as the lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water run-off will immediately discharge and our roads will be free of flash flood.

“As the strong winds expected to be experienced during the onset and cessation of every rainfall calls for caution, the envisaged hazy weather may also cause reduction in visibility that can bring about flight disruption and loss of revenue due to delays and outright cancellation. Guided by core principles of providing a flood-free and hygienic environment in the state, this ministry is providing all-year-round drainage maintenance for effective and efficient flood control with diligent dredging of all primary channels and cleaning/de-silting of all secondary collectors, to enable them to discharge efficiently and act as retention and/or detention basins. This is in addition to a revitalised solid waste management system,” he stated.

According to him, the state’s House of Assembly recently passed the plastic waste policy to address this issue once and for all.

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JUST IN: Lagos extends okada ban to Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Kosofe, Somolu

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Lagos State Government has extended its ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) operation to four more local governments, making a total of 10 the number of local government areas where no okada riding will be permitted with effect from September 1.

The government had initially banned okada in six LGAs of the state to curtail the rate of road accidents and crime using motorcycles.

The state government said on Thursday it had added four LGAs and six local community development areas to the list of the routes restricted to okada.

Lagos State Governor, Babajidr Sanwo-Olu, said full enforcement of the ban in the new areas would take effect from September 1, 2022.

The four LGAs and six LCDAs are: Kosofe Local Government (Ikosi-Isherri LCDA

and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA), Oshodi-Isolo Local Government (Isolo LCDA), Shomolu Local Government (Bariga LCDA) and Mushin Local Government (Odi-Olowo LCDA).

Ealier, the state government had restricted the okada riders from operating in Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa local government areas.

With 20 local governments in the state, only 10 LGAs are left for commercial motorcycle operators to do their business.

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No part of Lagos is under any lockdown – Lagos police

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The Lagos State Police Command has denied reports that some parts of the state is under a partial lockdown as a preventive measure against security threats.

Spokesman for the command, Benjamin Hundeyin, stated this in a series of tweets on Thursday in a reaction emanating from a Wednesday’s statement credited to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi.

Alabi was on Wednesday reported to have said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threats of attacks by unknown gunmen.

He was claimed to have said this in Lagos during the state stakeholders’ forum on police accountability quarterly meeting and awards.

But the state PPRO Hundeyin in a response via Twitter said, “@LagosPoliceNG Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, fdc only affirmed that entry and exit points are being closely monitored by security agencies to forestall any security breach in the state.

“He gave this assurance while answering a question bothering on police stop-and-search in some parts of Lagos State. NO PART OF LAGOS IS ON LOCKDOWN, PARTIAL OR TOTAL.

“All residents of Lagos State are enjoined to go about their lawful duties without fear; while remaining vigilant and observing situational awareness at all times.”

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Man ‘Selling Hard Drugs on Jiji’ Arrested in Abuja

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Orakwe Chibuike Celestine

Orakwe Chibuike Celestine, the MD/CEO of Marvelrock Pharmaceuticals and Stores Ltd., has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for selling illicit and controlled drugs on jiji.ng, a popular e-commerce platform.

The arrest was made known in a statement by Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA’s director of media and advocacy, on Wednesday.

Orakwe, a University of Abuja graduate, registered the pharmaceutical company on December 16, 2014, with the certificate and support of a licensed pharmacist, who opted out of the deal in 2017, according to Babafemi.

“The suspect continued running the business and enrolled it on Jiji.ng platform in 2019. He, however, came under NDLEA’s radar in October 2021 when he advertised many pharmaceutical products such as Tramadol, Ketamine Hydrochloride injection, and Hypnox flunitrazepam tablets, among others, on the Jiji.ng online marketplace,” Babafemi said.

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“Between 26th October 2021 and 8th August 2022, the team of anti-narcotic officers assigned to investigate Orakwe’s drug business activities was able to establish the suspect was selling Tramadol 225mg and other illicit/controlled drugs through the e-commerce platform.

“As a result, the suspect was arrested with some quantities of Tramadol and Swiphnol brand of Rohypnol on Monday 8th August at a drink joint in Jabi area of Abuja where he had gone to make some supplies of orders made through his online channel on Jiji.ng.”

While reacting to the development, Mohammed Marwa, the NDLEA chairman, said the “painstaking investigation and process of arresting the businessman” should send a strong message to those hiding behind the internet to engage in marketing and selling of illicit/controlled drugs.

“The agency will definitely get them to face the consequences of their action,” he said.

FIJ

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