The Ogun State Government has said the demolition of over 200 illegal structures around school fences and marketplaces is part of the Safer School Initiative, aimed at ridding the learning environment of criminals.

Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Farooq Akintunde, said owners of the shanties, illegal structures and makeshift shops had been issued notices about six months ago, but they failed to comply with them.

DAILY POST reported that the state government stormed Kuto, Idi-Aba, Oke Ijeun, and Panseke with bulldozers and pulled down the shanties and illegal structures on Thursday.

Some of the schools visited are St. John Primary School, Kuto; Nawairudeen Primary and Secondary School, Oje Ijeun; and Government Technical College, Idi-Aba.

The taskforce led by Akintunde also pulled down some make-shift shops in the Panseke area of Abeokuta for disrupting the free flow of traffic.

According to him: “ The main objective of the government embarking on this exercise is to ensure that students are not distracted from learning. We have occasions whereby students, because of this trading up and down, are distracted from the classroom and that is not too good for their learning process.

“And in line with the Safer School Initiative of this present administration, we need to protect our children. All these shanties are hideouts for criminals. You are aware of a lot of kidnapping cases all over the nation. So these are the cheap places where the kidnappers can make use of to come and perform their nefarious activities and the government, in its proactive measures, does not want such to happen.”

He also warned heads of schools who allegedly allocated unauthorised spaces to traders to desist or face the full weight of the state law.

“I want to sound a note of warning because there has been a lot of information gathered since we commenced this action. Our school principals and headmistresses need to sit up because the information we are getting all over the place is unpalatable. They are employed by the state government to teach students. They are not given any power or authority to go and lend out government setbacks to people.

“Such money is an illegal fee and we don’t want a situation whereby they will find themselves in government’s trouble,” he said.

Why we demolished over 200 shanties — Ogun Govt

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