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There is palatable tension among residents and landlords of Itori Mogan village extension in the neighborhood of Golf Resort in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, over an alleged demolition exercise carried out by the officials of state government.
The residents of the community accused the state government of illegal demolition, alleging that the exercise was aimed at re-allocating the land to Governor Dapo Abiodun’s friends and cronies in government.
Findings showed that the lingering crisis dates back to the administration of former governor Ibikunle Amosun who allegedly revoked the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) earlier granted the owners of the communities numbering about 13 to 14 by his predecessor, Gbenga Daniel.
Efforts by the communities leaders to make spirited efforts to upturn the decision of Amosun’s administration was not to avail.
According to sources, the present administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun who inherited the unresolved crisis promised never to demolish or continue with the revocation order of his predecessor during his electioneering campaign to the communities.
However, the sources said that to the utter shock of the residents, trouble reared its ugly head recently when the governor reneged on his promises and approved the demolition exercise in the community.
The residents of the communities are however alleging that the government demolished properties worth over 200 million belonging to their sons and daughters who returned home to develop the community.
The landlords and residents, appealed to the government to immediately halt the demolition exercise and stop further violation of the rights and inheritance of the helpless community dwellers.
The residents claimed the exercise was carried out without any prior notice to residents.
The residents further alleged that the hurriedly carried out demolition received the blessings of Ogun’s commisioner for Housing, Hon. Omoniyi, a member of Abeokuta Golf Club, who is alleged to have a personal interest in the matter.
One of the residents, Adeoye Adefemi said, “the Ogun State government had allocated a portion of land at Itori Mogon village for estate development. However, the government later sold the initiative to a private company which has moved to acquire more landed properties not covered in the initial plan.”
“The company has taken interest in areas where houses were being built and developed. This has resulted in the demolition of houses worth about N50 million each.
“There are about six houses that were demolished in the area. There is a portion of the file of the land that is for Estate Development. It has been on since the Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s era. After Daniel, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, they didn’t do anything about it, it is called E-crest Estate.
“The houses that were pulled down are mansions. Now because they are looking for a way to annex that part of the land, they changed the village extension which the government approved but they are yet to gazette it.
“I think we have a report to that effect, if it is gazetted, they might not have any reason to come back and do whatever but it is a part of village extension so they should leave that out of whatever they want to acquire.
“This is the situation; all of the affected people have completed these people have spent more than N40 million. I don’t know what their primary interest is, they came to demolish without any notice, without meeting with them, without taking them to court and these people that built these houses are from this village. The owners of these houses are devastated, they don’t know what to do.”
Also speaking, the Baale 2nd in Council of the village, Osho stated, “On the issue of village extension, this issue had been on for a while to get an extension but during the Gbenga Daniel tenure, we were given village extension.
“When Amosun came, he revoked it and we have been taking steps. We wrote letters and all till he left. When Dapo Abiodun became governor, we approached him, he said his government was not for the demolition of houses, that’s why we voted him in.
“When he became governor, we started taking steps to get village extensions. Our children who were living in the city because Amosun’s government demolished their houses, we called them back home to bring growth and development to this area.
“They came and we gave them lands and they started building modern houses. A golf club went behind us to do a C/O.
“After that, the railway was constructed. We had just a small piece of land to ourselves. We tried developing this area little by little and now, some houses are worth N50 million.
“Please we are pleading with Governor Dapo Abiodun to put a stop to this unfair treatment of our people.”
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