Residents of Oke Ogun Moyeso community in Ibeju Lekki Government Area of Lagos State, have appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene over the ongoing encroachment and demolition of houses by a real estate company.
During a peaceful protest at the State Government House at Alausa within the week, residents who came out in their hundreds, said the community, which is home to over 2000 people, is being gradually taken over by a private real estate company which they say claim are working on the behalf of the state government.
One of the residents who is a lawyer, Wilfred Iwuji, told Daily Sun that the real estate company claimed to have the approval of the state government for a new scheme, but that the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) informed them that the community is not part of the area the state government has mapped out for allocation.
“A residential estate in that community, in collaboration with a private real estate company are the ones encroaching into our land and demolishing people’s properties, claiming that they have the mandate of the State government to do so. They came with several police men to carry out the demolitions, yet they couldn’t present any documents to prove that they have the mandate of the state government. The NTDA told us that our community is not part of the area government has mapped out for allocation yet, this company is demolishing houses and fencing them out. Our community is duly registered at the CDA and state level and we have been operating there.
“During the administration of Governor Akinwumi Ambode, there was no signing of excision but it was in January this year when Governor Sanwo-Olu lifted the ban that communities that are not excised should be excised. Before then, we have been processing our excision but it was stalled because Ambode didn’t sign excisions. As we speak, our documents are in Alausa and we want the governor to intervene and put a stop to the encroachment and demolition.
“The government knows that this community has been existing for years, but some people who claim that they are government officials and told us that the place belongs to Aiyetoro scheme. We told them that this is a community land and doesn’t belong to the government. We know that the government has not excised it but the process is on. If they claim this place, where would we go? Where are you chasing us to? As a lawyer, I am not ignorant of the provisions of the Land Use Act that the only reason that the government can take over land is for overriding public interest, not just public interest. It is not fair to ask us to vacate, where would we go to? What happens to our investments in that community?
The chairman of Oke Ogun Moyeso Council Development Area, Adedeji Adeagbo, who led the protest, said the governor must intervene so that the thousands of people living in the community would not be displaced.
“The action of this company is causing tension in the community and presently, one of the residents whose house was demolished has been hospitalised. We are here because we want the governor to come to our aid and put a stop to the encroachment of our land and demolition of our properties,” he said.