15th August, 2010
Trouble is brewing in Lagos State over the installation of a telecommunication mast at Festac Town, as Residents of Community 3D Friday openly protested the installation of a mast at 1st Avenue, I Close, House 2 by Etisalat.
The Community asked President Goodluck Jonathan to call the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department, Nigerian Communications Commission Ms F. Akiode to order for asking Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (ETISALAT) to go ahead with the installation exercise, despite an ongoing motion for injunction at the Lagos High Court.
They also asked NCC, ETISALAT and Engineer Samuel Obatola Taiwo to discontinue the erection of the mast with immediate effect as no approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been prepared for the job or shown to the residents.
Leading the pack against NCC, Taiwo and EMTS are High Chief Olufemi Daramola, Ichie Ike Ezeuko, Mrs Eunice Shote, 1st Avenue J close Residents Association and Community 3D Residents Association.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the protest, Mrs Shote said they are opposed to the installation of the mast because of its proximity to their properties.
â€œThe said Installation poses a serious environment and health hazards to us, our lives, children and tenants. Also, our properties will be exposed to serious danger in case of collapse, accident or fire. The gaseous emission from the 24 hours generating set powering the mast, heavy batteries and diesel pose serious health problems to us,â€ she said.
Continuing, she said: â€œThe position of the mast will provide an advantage for the men of the underworld to gain direct access into our premises by climbing it and jumping into the premises as well as collapsing the market values of our properties, as no good tenant will want to rent a house close to a telecommunication mast with its potential dangers.â€
She accused those behind the installation of failing to observe the normal setback from adjoining properties. The height of the mast is almost 50 metres high in the sky.
She also expressed disappointment over the manner ETISALAT, NCC and Engineer Taiwo are going about the installation despite pending court injunction, noting that there is no respect for court procedure.
The 1st Avenue Residents Association also expressed anger over the installation of the mast in the neighbourhood.
Speaking to newsmen on the issue, the secretary of the association, Clement Onwuenwunor, said members of J Close Residents Association and Community 3DÂ met and resolved to object to the Erection of Etisalat mast in the neighbourhood and their decisions were communicated to ETISALAT, NCC Engineer Taiwo and others.
According to him, the installation poses a serious environmental and health hazards to the residents.
“The effect of radiation from such telecommunication installation will be too adverse to our lives and properties, as no serious buyer would want to buy property in the community,” he said.
In a protest letter, the association urged ETISALAT, Engineer Taiwo and NCC to stop the work.
“We are not ready to compromise our safety, health and properties and in the event of your refusal, and or neglect to stop work and relocate, our association would have no option than act,” they said.
Meanwhile, the matter is already before a High Court in Lagos where Daramola, Ezeuko and Shote are asking the court to declare that Engineer Taiwo is not entitled to render his house to a use that will be detrimental to the lives and properties of his neighbours.
They also want the court to restrain Engineer Taiwo, NCC, Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, their agents, servants or privies from installing the mast at the proposed site at 1st Avenue, I Close, House 2, Festac Town or any other site, which will violate or threaten to violate the rights to lives and peaceful enjoyment of their properties and environment.