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Over 2000 residents of Okegun-Museyo in Ibeju- Lekki local government area of Lagos state have sent a Save-Our-Soul message to the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa from land grabbers .
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that
the residents including children, women and youths in a peaceful protest held in Alausa.
They called on Lagos State Government to rescue them from land grabbers who they said have seized their lands.
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that
an Estate Agency, DPKay Homes and Property has been destroying their houses.
They defied the hot sun, rather armed themselves with placards with various inscriptions appealing to the governor, the Speaker, as well as the Senator representing Lagos East senatorial district, Tokunbo Abiru, and others to help stop the demolition of their houses .
With different inscriptions, the residents lamented that the company has imposed untold pain on the community since the incident started in February
This ugly situation, according to the residents has been a reccurrence incident where thousands of residents would be rendered homeless by land
grabbers who come under the guise of government.
The property owners, who had lived for over 12 years in the community, grading roads and developing other facilities through self-help, were surprised after the land grabbers stormed the
community and claimed that the land belong to them.
One of the residents, simply identified as Barrister Wilfred, lamented explained that, over 2,000 people including women and children live in that area and they have been making efforts to regularize their property
documents with the State government.
“We legally procured the land from the government and we were told by New Town Development Agency, NTDA that our land was not allocated by the government to anybody and we were given documents to prove it.
Our community is duly registered both in Lagos and as a CDA.
“Prior to the ban placed on community excision by former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the residents had begun processing regularization of the land and
immediately the ban was lifted by the incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the community had
began processing the excision in Alausa and has been there for three years.
“Some people that masqueraded themselves as Alausa men came over and told us that the place
belongs to Aiyetoro Scheme and it is the government’s property.
As a lawyer, “I know that the community does not belong to the government, we know it has not been excised yet but the process is on at Alausa where our application is being processed by the government.
“We are peaceful Lagosians, if they want to displace us now, where do they want us to go? Where will our women and children go?, he lamented.
The land grabbers claimed they are Itunu Residential Estate in ties with DPKay Homes. They have encroached into our land, with claims that they are from the government but were not able to
produce any legal document upon request rather they have gone ahead with demolitions.
Some of the property owners were said to be hospitalised after watching the hoodlums, brought
by the alleged land grabbers, demolish their structures which they erected with proceeds gotten
over the years from petty businesses they engage in.
As gathered, some of the residents were widows who erected the building from the gratuity paid to their husbands after their demise, basically to
prevent paying rents daily, which could have taken a large chunk of the money.
Another resident, former CDA chairman, Kolawole Ojo, who displayed documents indicating the government approvals, said that the community does not exist in isolation, saying the Lagos State government recognises that the Okegun-Museyo community is in existence.
Speaking with the residents, it was gathered that prior to the demolition, there was no presentation of a court injunction and there were claims from the DPKay agents that they legally procured the land from the government; according to them, they were told by NTDA that their land was not allocated by the government to anybody and was given a paper to prove it.
They hammered on the fact that
their community is duly registered both in Lagos and as a CDA.
The Community Development Association (CDA) chairman, Adedeji Adeagbo, described their
situation as traumatising disclosing a landlord has landed in the hospital after she was told that her house has been demolished.
He added that they have embarked on the process that the government indicated was necessary for property owners to wade off land grabbers from
any property procured from the community.
“We have done the charting and a document was received indicating that the land was not acquired
by the Lagos State Government and that it has not been bought over by anyone before we all purchased it.
Addressing the protesters, the Chairman, House Committee on Lands, Richard Kasumu, commended the protesters for conducting themselves in a
peaceful way to achieve their aim.
“We sympathise with you over the demolition of your properties by some people in the state. Going
forward, we can assure you that no one in Lagos State intimidates another person. The Lagos State
Government will not allow that; we can assure you of that.
“To ensure justice on this issue, we will be inviting all parties attached to the issue and ensure that everyone that needs to get justice received it”, the chairman added.
Also, the chairman, House Committee on Finance, Rotimi Olowo, said: “As your representative, we will ensure that no one cheats you and that is why we have decided that call all parties to stop land grabbing in Lagos”.