Lagos - The Lagos government on Thursday condemned the action of the displaced residents of Makoko Waterfront community for shunning a meeting to resolve issues surrounding the clean up of their area.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba said that the government was disappointed by the action of the residents.
According to him, top officials of the state government had waited in vain at the venue of the meeting till late evening, and the failure of the residents to honour the meeting is a breach of an earlier agreement.
NAN recalls that no fewer than 1,000 of the residents had marched on Gov. Babatunde Fashola`s office on Monday to protest the demolition of their community by the government.
Fashola, who addressed the protesters, promised to engage them in a dialogue with a view to arriving at an understanding of the situation.
``We were surprised that the residents did not attend today's meeting. Both parties had agreed that we would use the avenue to resolve some of the grey areas on the clean-up exercise.
``We believe some of these issues will be better handled with dialogue. We have fixed another meeting for Tuesday next week, and we hope they will seize the opportunity to engage us,’’Ibirogba said.
He urged the residents not to be misled by people claiming to champion their rights, saying such people were rather profiting from their situation.
The commissioner said that continuous engagement with the state government on areas of disagreements remained the way out of the problem.
However, Mr Abraham Mesu, a community leader in Makoko, explained that they did not attend the meeting because they got the invitation rather too late.
``I t was not deliberate. The notice came very late and it was difficult getting everybody together. We will attend the rescheduled meeting. We only hope the notice would be sent early this time around,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos government has condemned Wednesday’s robbery attack on Mr Steve Nwosu, an Editor with the Sun Newspapers, in Agboju area of the metropolis.
Ibirogba described the attack as unfortunate, and wondered why some people chose the way of crime, in spite of the many opportunities that the state offered.
He pledged government`s commitment to rid the state of criminal elements, through boosting the capacities of security personnel.