Twenty-four hours after the Ogun State government demolished the N1bn worth of building belonging to the wife of former governor of the state, Olufunke Daniel, the state governor has hinted that buildings without approval and Certificate of Occupancy would be demolished.
PLATFORM TIMES had earlier reported exclusively on Sunday morning how the state government partially demolished DATKEM plaza, the five storey building located in Ijebu-Ode.
While breaking his silence over the controversial demolition which took place in the wee hours, Abiodun warned that the state government will not tolerate lawlessness and the violation of the state’s building codes.
Abiodun, who had been having political battle with Daniel, who is the Senator representing Ogun East, denied that the action was politically motivated.
The governor spoke after inspecting a 8-kilometre Mowe-Ofada Road, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state.
According to the governor, the partial demolition exercise which was carried out by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development was in line with the laws of the state.
PLATFORM TIMES reliably gathered that the battle for 2027 between Daniel who is eyeing a second term as a senator and the governor who may either wants to take the ticket away from Daniel, has begun.
He said: “But for the fact you have ambushed me, I was not prepared to formally address that subject matter. And the reasons are very simple, we are a responsible government.
” We are responsible to our citizens. We are a law-abiding administration. I’m sure that everyone would testify to the fact that since I assumed office in 2019, I have ensured equity, fairness and upheld the rule of law.
” I have not in any way attempted to be vindictive or in any form or manner appear like someone who is trying to witch-hunt anyone.
“Having said that, because these are some of the insinuations I have read on social media and nothing could be farther from the truth.
” You all have seen the position of the Ministry of Physical Planning, which is the ministry that is entrusted with ensuring that people adhere to our different building codes. Because if we don’t respect building codes, if we don’t abide by building laws, it means that we are nothing but a chaotic society.
“These are the people charged with ensuring that our cities and towns are well laid out, well planned and the buildings that are constructed are safe to live in.
“We are all living witnesses to what has happened in the state and Lagos State when buildings have collapsed. And proactively, our government and across the country have brought some buildings down for violations of different building regulations.
“Only a few weeks ago, the new minister of the FCT said any person who builds in FCT without approval no matter how highly placed they are, be it a minister or anybody, the building will come down.
“And recalled sometime last year, when a building collapsed on Gerald in Lagos, a building that belonged to someone that I know personally, I held a press conference and said we would not allow for this to happen in Ogun State.
“You build without approval, you build beyond your approval, if you don’t build in line with our regulations, that building will come down.
“Now, let’s go to this DATKEM. First I can assure you that our physical planning team do not have the responsibility of unmasking who the owner of a company is.
” It is beyond their mandate. As far as they know, a company called DATKEM had applied for approval to erect a five-story building.
” That approval was filed in 2009, way beyond our administration. But sometime in 2022, a contravention notice was sent to the owners of DATKEM.
“In Ogun State and in Nigeria, we don’t have a set of laws for the common man and the VIP. That is not the way it works. There is one law for everybody. Nobody is above the law.
“And the law is not the respecter of VIPs or VIPPs. So, they sent the contravention notice to DATKEM, regardless of who the owner of DATKEM was, which was not their priority.
“After they sent that contravention notice in May 2022, they sent a stop order notice to DATKEM, saying you are in contravention, stop working on this project until you come and correct these contraventions.
“They followed that stop order with another stop order. They sent a violation order. They sealed the premises.
“The owners of DATKEM in their minds must have felt they were above the law. It smirks of impunity if the Ministry of Physical Planning sends you a contravention order, sends you a seal order and you continue with the construction in violation of the safety of all of us in Ogun State.
“They sent you a demolition order, you still did not respond. You begin to sneak into the building at night, you begin to work there.
“You begin to attempt to grease palms so that they can overlook your contraventions. But, of course, a day of reckoning will always come.”
The governor said properties are demolished every day in the state without any noise being made, adding that he had instructed that if his property violates state laws, it should be brought down.
“You expect that someone, who is a serving senator, a former governor of this state, would show a level of more responsibility. I have said, to Dapo Abiodun, if I have a building that violates the building code, bring it down.
“And by this, I am sending a strong warning to all of us across the state. There are many of you who have buildings without approvals.
“There are many of you who don’t even have C of O. If you have built without approvals, the long arm of the law will soon be catching up with you. We will not tolerate lawlessness in this state.
“We will not be defined by lawlessness and half hazard development when you just build anyhow.”
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