There seems to be an uneasy calm at the Lagos state secretariat following the ‘resignation’ of Idris Salako, commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Salako leaves the position after the Oniru incident in the early hours of Sunday, where a seven-storey building under construction caved in with two allegedly dead and others are yet to be found.
The state has recorded multiple building collapses in Nigeria’s commercial hub in the last few years, and some staff of the ministry are said to be jittery over the next line of action of the government as observers day the incidents are becoming, ‘too many’.
As usual, Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information in a statement on Monday said the Commissioner actually resigned.
Curiously enough, Omotoso said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has accepted the resignation.
However, according to Daily Post, the state government official noted that Salako’s exit “is a prelude to the restructuring of the Ministry and its agencies”.
The governor warned all players in the sector to respect the law or face the consequences of any indiscretion.
In what observers regard as one of the commissioner’s undoings, Salako, while addressing the media, suggested the developer was a powerful man, recalling how he chased state officials away during enforcement.
He also disclosed that the developer broke the seal of the site on three separate occasions, an obvious indictment on the state government.
Interestingly, the same situation allegedly occurred before the Ikoyi building collapse, in November 2021, which claimed more than 40 lives.
The developer Femi Osibona, who also lost his life, allegedly unsealed the site multiple times and muscled government officials, citing connections with the authorities.
A source closer to the seat of power in the state told metrobusinessnews.com that the governor did not take the former commissioner’s outbursts slightly, adding that he regards it as an embarrassment on the government as well as portraying the government as condoning lawlessness in the conduct of state affairs.
It was further gathered that state government has initiated some discrete moves to identify some accomplices in the incidents that have become ‘serious’ embarrassment to the state of excellence.
Some observers wonder, why it has taken the state government this long to act even in the face of series of incidents that have claimed many lives.