Lagos State Government has debunked a media report which claimed that the government demolished the property of Queen Diana International School within a short notice.
The publication further said that the action was in defiance to court order and that the Commissioner ordered the pupils to be locked inside the premises.
Speaking through a Press Release by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Commissioner, Dr. Idris Salako, said that the claim is false.
The Commissioner stated that the ministry engaged all stakeholders prior to the assumption of office by the present administration and added that the project will bring proper development in the area.
He said: “It is noteworthy to state that issues raised in the publication do not represent facts as, contrary to the portrayal in the report, the Lagos State Government had engaged occupants of the area in a series of stakeholder-engagements prior to the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“As part of the process, a final 7- day notice was given to all affected stakeholders, while additional 7-days were conceded to Queen Diana International School to allow for the removal of its items, even as the owner was adamant and resorted to the use of uniformed men to stop officers of the Ministry from working.”
The Commissioner said a first stakeholders’ meeting was convened by the State government on 12th September, 2017 while another was recently held on 20th December, 2019 and that modalities of the project was discussed and they were requested to submit relevant documents for consideration of compensation.
He totally dismissed the allegation that it flouted court order saying that no court was served on the Ministry before the demolition and also thrashed the claim that it ordered that pupils be locked inside calling it an “illogical claim.”
“It is inconceivable and illogical to assert that any official of the Lagos State government will direct that students be locked within the school premises during the removal of structures; it is also intriguing that the reporter made no attempt to balance his story by seeking government’s side of the story in line with ethics of the journalism profession,” he said.
Salako said that after the final seven-day notice of evacuation, the Ministry gave an extra seven days but the school, instead of vacating the premises, tried to stop the people working with uniformed men.