The South-West Professional Forum (SOWPROF) has dismissed the ethnic coloration given to current demolitions in the nation’s commercial capital, saying that majority of illegal structures brought down in Lagos were owned by Yoruba people.
The SOWPROF, in a statement signed by its Assistant General Secretary, Lateef Kayode, dismissed insinuations that the demolition was targeting a particular ethnic group.
According to the group, attempts by some people to ethnicise the environmental issue was self-serving.
It wrote: “We have done diligent checks. We have a compilation of all the victims of the demolition in Lagos. We have done extensive compilation of the victims and the issues involved. Some 80 per cent of the victims of the demolished buildings are from the South-West region.”
SOWPROF said it was a pity that ethnic politics was being introduced to the attempt by the Lagos State Government to deal with serious environmental hazards that caused flooding and deaths.
The group urged Lagos State Governor’s Babajide Sanwo-Olu not to be deterred by parochial critiques introducing ethnic politics into a purely environmental issue.
Saying it began compilation of names of affected landlords five months ago, SOWPROF submitted that the owners of the demolished buildings were available to the public.
It pointed out that the demolition of illegal buildings remained a nationwide issue.
SOWPROF said: “It takes place in all the South-East, North-West, North-East and South-South. It has happened in Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri, Aba, Kaduna, Ilorin, Makurdi and in many cities across the country.
“It is unfortunate that some people are exploring the fragile political situation in the country to cause disaffection using the demolition of illegal buildings in Lagos State as a pun in the game.”
It advised property owners against investing in land and property that infringed on existing environmental laws.