The Lagos State Government on Saturday demolished the headquarters of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, Taskforce at the old toll gate on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Hakeem Adedeji, the Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences, told journalists that the demolition was carried out on the orders of of the state government.
“The reason for the demolition is to the best knowledge of the governor because he was the one who directed that the buildings should be pulled down in the interest of the public,’’ he said.
Mr. Adedeji said he believed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode must have issued the directive based on the abandonment of the building and its conversion to a hideout by miscreants.
“On getting here, we could not find any Federal Government official inside the building, rather, we found street urchins.
“There is need to avoid that and that is why we believe that if the building is demolished, no one will use it as a hideout,” he said.
The chairman noted that the structure ought to have been demolished since June 22, but that due process had to be followed before carrying out the demolition.
“All these are geared towards ensuring that the rights of the citizens are not infringed upon.’’
The debris and heaps of documents used by the agency were evacuated from the site.
The decision to demolish the building might not be unconnected to the smooth working relationship between the Lagos government and the federal government with both now led by the same political party, the APC.
Earlier in the year, former Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos wrote to former President Goodluck Jonathan over the presence of the officials, who claimed to have been set up by the Presidency, to publicly state their functions. Messrs. Fashola and Jonathan belonged to opposing parties and both governments disagreed on a lot of matters in Lagos State including security, traffic and road maintenance.