Awolowo, Fela’s statues not destroyed ― Lagos govt
• We hold our heroes in high regard, it says
Lagos State government on Thursday described as false, the news making the rounds on social media, claiming that it has destroyed the statues of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and that of Nigerian music legend and social crusader, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
The two statues were erected at the roundabout on Allen Avenue in Ikeja area of the state.
The State‘s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, who spoke with newsmen, debunked the social media story, saying that contrary to the malicious claims being spread by ill-informed individuals, the statues were removed for the purpose of development.
According to the commissioner, the need to carry out junction improvements in some identified locations necessitated the removal of street furniture, statues of very notable personalities, artworks and billboards.
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Oladeinde noted that the state government holds the nation’s heroes in very high esteem and would not do anything to bring down the exalted heights they had attained during their lifetime directly or indirectly.
“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,” he said, adding that the government duly informed and consulted the Fela Anikulapo-Kuti family before the action was taken.
This was just as he said that the whole process was for the benefit of Lagos residents, assuring that the Fela statue would be relocated to the roundabout between Allen Avenue and Opebi-Toyin Street.
He said the government was working on a befitting location to erect the old statue of Chief Awolowo.
“We are in the process of erecting the beautiful work of art, depicting Fela Anikulapo-Kuti at the Opebi-Toyin street junction. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is also working on a befitting location to erect the old Obafemi Awolowo statue,” he said.