The Lagos State Task Force says it has matched words with actions by clearing traders off Oshodi rail tracks, under Apongbon Bridge and other areas, vowing to sustain the tempo.
A statement by Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, spokesman, Lagos State Task Force, said Chairman of the agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye, led the enforcement on Monday.
Abdulraheem said the exercise was to rid the state of indiscriminate display of goods on the highways, road sides, kerbs and railway tracks across various parts of the metropolis.
He said simultaneous operations were tactically supervised by Jejeloye to implement directives of the government to all environmental agencies to restore sanity on the walkways, highways and rail tracks turned markets.
The chairman said that the trading activities not only debase the environment but also cause pain and discomfort to Lagos residents.
Jejeloye said several notices had been served to traders, especially those at Oshodi rail track where the agency carried out sensitisation and subtle warning on May, 23, to discourage them from returning.
He added that the efforts to keep the illegal activities off the tracks fell on deaf ears.
“Our warnings have been sent out to them for as long as two years ago but they don’t listen.
“We served notices at Fagba where some people built shanties, kiosks from Fagba all the way to Pen Cinema and Isokoko, thereby shortchanging motorists and pedestrians who should enjoy free movement along that axis.
“It is completely unfair to all Lagosians and we will make sure that they are all cleared out with immediate effect,” he said.
The chairman said although both the buyers and sellers involved in these activities should be arrested, he would strike a balance and avoid double jeopardy.
He said that only goods found on the rail tracks were seized.
Jejeloye urged the market leaders to come down to the headquarters of the agency at Oshodi for a round table to seek permanent solution to curb the menace.
In a related development, the task force carried out a night to dawn raid underneath Apongbon Bridge, where traders were asked to vacate to forestall environmental mishaps that could jeopardise safety and security.
Jejeloye said that the action was necessary following the reopening of Eko Bridge which was shut down for 15 months due to fire damage caused by activities of traders.
He added that the measures were necessary at the location and other strategic locations where the activities of street traders posed major threat to the environment and general well being of Lagos residents.
He appealed to all traders to relocate to the market complex provided by the state government and desist from carrying out counter productive activities.
“Achieving a Mega City status as enshrined in the THEMES Agenda of the State Government is a collective effort and all hands must be on deck to ensure its sustenance.
“We will carry out this enforcement exercise on a daily basis to ensure we achieve our aim, and anyone found going against the law will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” the task force boss said.