Land Use Act: Save Lagos Group Cautions Police, DSS, Others Against Infringing On Citizens’ Rights
…Demands immediate repeal of laws on land use act, environmental sanitation, court bail
A civil rights organization, the Save Lagos Group has cautioned security operatives in Lagos State to show caution in the exercise of their duties to residents of the state, saying they (security agents) must not be seen to be infringing on the rights of the people.
This is coming just as the Save Lagos Group has also urged members of the Lagos State House of Assembly to commence actions that would see to the repeal of the three critical laws that have in no small way impacted negatively on the lives of the people of the state.
In a statement issued by the Convener of the Save Lagos Group, Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman on Saturday at the end of an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the group in its Ikeja office, the Save Lagos Group stated that the disposition of the security agencies, particularly the police in recent times have tend to suggest that they are out to curtail the rights of the people of that state to ventilate their grievances against the state government’s policies that are inimical to their progress and wellbeing.
Sulaiman in the statement singled out the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Edgar Imohinmi, saying the decision of the police to abort a planned protest by some people of the state over the newly enacted, yet draconian land use act as leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
“How do you justify a situation whereby a police commissioner drafted to a state will elect to fragrantly seek to curtail the rights of the people to lawfully organize themselves to protest against a law that was enacted by the state House of Assembly, which they consider as inimical to their wellbeing?” Sulaiman asked.
He added that the right of the people to peaceful protest against policies and programmes of a government is clearly spelt out in the 1999 Constitution, specifically in Section (40 &41) (as amended).
“I remember a case that was won by late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi at the Supreme Court who stated emphatically that it is not condition precedent for a permit to be obtained by protesters before embarking on peaceful protest against government’s policies and programmes that they consider against their wellbeing.
“This is even more apt today as we tend to have a tyrannical government headed by Mr. Akinwunmi ‘Dapo Ambode who seems not to be in anyway interested in the collective welfare and wellbeing of the people that he is presiding over, rather is more occupied with raising money to subsidise the lifestyles of those in government.” He stated.
Sulaiman warned the heads of the security agencies, particularly, the police and the DSS not to lend themselves as tools in the hands of greedy politicians but rather be agents of the people whose taxes are being utlised for kitting them and for the payment of their salaries and emolument.
He stated that for peace to reign, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly should as a matter of urgency repeal the Land Use Act 2018,Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 as well as strict administrative condition for securing bail for those charged in the state government funded courts.
“We are calling on members of the State House of Assembly to commence the processes for the repeal of the laws, saying the contents and implementation are not in anyway beneficial to the people of the state. We condemn the decision of the both the executive and the legislature to embark on tokenism in their response to public outcry over these issues.
“We flay the decision of the state governor to ‘reduce’ the fees payable by the people as he has not in anyway demonstrated enough good faith. To us, both the executive and legislative arms of government should commence the processes for repealing the laws and not to embark on a jamboree and smokescreen exercise called public hearing and summoning of officials to appear before the house.” He stated.
On the next line of action for the group, he stated that the two month ultimatum that has been given by the group to occupy the seat of government in Alausa in Ikeja still subsists and that “We have not backed down on our plan to occupy the Alausa secretariat for complete two months.
“As we write this, we are already making contacts with likeminded groups to give vent to the plan should both the two arms of government decides not to listen to voice of caution and reason. Currently, our members both Christians and Muslims are observing the Lenten and Rajahab fasting and we promise to storm Alausa immediately we finish should the state government refuses to listen to the cries of the people.” Sulaiman concluded.