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Concerned victims of threats of property demolition from some Lagos communities were on Monday 1st of November, 2021 led on a Save Our Soul peaceful protest to the Lagos State government house by activists from the office of Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA).


The affected landlords and residents from Ijegun/Ijedodo and Ijagemo in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State claimed to have staged the protest at the Governor’s Office in Alausa, Ikeja, against the alleged attempts by the state government to demolish their houses and seize their lands which they claim to have legally acquired and habited for decades.

Led by the Executive Director, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, and leaders of the various Community Development Associations (CDAs), they claimed that they have been in undisputed possession of the said lands for more than 30 years, with over 3,000 families settled in the community.


The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions such as: ‘Corruption Must Stop: Stop Encouraging Omonile to Sell Land With Master Plan’; ‘They Are Selling Land Meant for Road on the Master Plan’; ‘We Are Not Under Government of Acquisition’, among others.

In two separate petitions submitted to the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, the protesters accused some individuals of using their closeness to the corridors of power in the state to ‘terrorise’ law-abiding landlords and residents of Ijegun, Ijedodo, and Ijagemo axis with threats to demolish their houses and confiscate their lands on false pretense that the state government is abandoning the original Master Plan which certified their property as legally acquired and out of the Right of Way (ROW).

According to them, some highly placed individuals have acquired lands and property on the designated Right of Way but “are now seeking to upturn and divert the original master plan in order to save their own skin and make innocent law-abiding citizens pay for their own brazen effrontery at law-breaking.”

They alleged that “some staff members of the Lagos State Government in connivance with the traditional ruler of Ijegun, the new Oba of Ibaland have vowed to unleash mayhem as strategy to evict the rightful owners of those places from their abode.”

They stated further that “on July 28, 2021, a group of miscreants and land-grabbers (popularly called Omoniles) came to mark the houses for demolition, while a few days after, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development with Land Bureau officials supported by a team of armed men terrorised the area for three days, forcefully entering people’s homes, taking snap shot of property as marked for demolition.”

The embattled people of the area stated that due to the constant harassment and infliction of physical pains and violence with attendant psychological and physiological consequences, about six landlords in the area have died of causes related to heart attacks while four are currently battling with stroke.

According to them, “It remains to us a puzzle while those who have done their due diligence before acquiring lands certified by the government as free of all official encumbrances should be made to suffer this spate of sustained violence, while the real culprits, who built on the right of way of the original Master Plan, hide behind these facade and live seemingly in peace. The irony of the entire plot is that the original Master Plan meant for the road infrastructure is still selling as we speak.

“This is injustice laden with impunity, and we believe that Lagos State cannot, descend into a jungle where some devour the rights of others by sheer reason of might under its watch.

“To be clear, the Ijegun/Ijedodo Affected Landlords Committee at whose instance this petition is written, did not only purchase their property legally as distinct from the other area designated as Right of Way for the road project as obtained in the original Master Plan of 1972 (and as seen and described in the original layout with the Ministry of Lands and the Office of the Surveyor General of Lagos State), their right of legal acquisition of those lands was also recognised in the adapted version of the original Master Plan by Alimosho Local Government Area under the Alimosho Mega City Plan 2010 to 2020.”

The concerned landlords stated that there was also a visitation by members of the state House of Assembly, which promised to make the report of its finding public, but has not done so till date.

They stated that shortly after the residents instituted a court process, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure hurriedly organised a stakeholders’ meeting to resolve the matter.

However, five days to the stakeholders’ meeting, the same ministry served a notice of removal in a newspaper advertorial titled: ‘Removal of Structure within the Right of Way of Ijedodo Road in Alimosho Local Government Area’, on the residents of the area.

As the matter intensified and with the injunction of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja restraining the plot to demolish those houses, in suit number: 1D/7471GCMW/2020), there have been spurious reasons adduced by some lawmakers in the state Assembly that the reason for the diversion from the original plan was to save cost for the government.

The protesters, who expressed confidence that as a fair-minded, justice-driven and upright father of all, the state governor would rise to the occasion to unmask the plotters who are making the lives of innocent and law-abiding citizens miserable for no just cause.

While addressing the protesters, a member of the Assembly Committee on Physical Planning, Hon. Kehinde Johnson, commended members of the community for the mature way the issue is so far handled. He informed the protesters that the leadership of Lagos House of Assembly are solidly behind them and would not do anything to support injustice.
“Some of you are retired and have laboured so much to acquired those properties. You did all necessary findings to ensure that you all got legitimate properties with perfection of all documents and approval by the state government. The same government cannot turn around to threatening your legitimately acquired properties so as to favour illegal occupiers who illegally sold government properties. We are upright and will never support injustice”.

He urged them not to take laws into their hands, but to continue to give peace a chance, assuring them that the state government will dispassionately look into the matter and ensure that justice is served.

Copies of letters submitted to both the Governor and the Speaker were made available to all ministries including Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure; Commissioner for Housing; Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development; Attorney Gen & Minister of Justice of Nigeria. More so, necessary committees were copied at both the Federal House of Representatives and Senate among others.


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