By Ezra Odogu
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu The Lagos State Government on Thursday debunked the news making the rounds that it had destroyed the statues of late Premier of Western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nigerian music legend and social crusader, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti erected at the popular Allen roundabout in Ikeja area of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, who debunked the report which trended on social media, explained that contrary to “the malicious claims” being spread by ill-informed individuals”, the statues were removed for the purpose of development.
Daily Trust reports that the removal of the statues have been generating heated debate on social media for days. But the government clarified that the statues were not destroyed but removed to carry out “Junction improvements in some identified locations”.
This he said necessitated the removal of street furniture, statues of very notable personalities, art works and billboards. Oladeinde said the government duly informed and consulted the Fela Anikulapo-Kuti family before the action was taken, saying the removal was in the interest of Lagos residents.
The Commissioner said the Fela statue will be relocated to the roundabout between Allen Avenue and Opebi-Toyin Street while a befitting location is being worked out for the old Obafemi Awolowo statue. The Commissioner noted that the Lagos State Government holds the nation’s heroes in very high esteem and would not do anything to bring down the exalted heights they have attained during their lifetime directly or indirectly.
He said: “The Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, in a bid to finding a lasting solution to traffic gridlocks in the state, identified about sixty congestion points and have started work to improve traffic experience in five major locations.