Ogun Community Protests As Government Demolishes Multi-million Naira Hotel, Others

Hundreds of residents of Ajegunle/Araromi community in Makun, Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun state on Thursday kicked against the demolition of their houses by the officials of the state government.

Residents of the community woke up to the shrieking sound of bulldozers as officials of the state Bureau of Lands and Survey accompanied by armed policemen stormed their community pulling down their structures.

The angry residents who were wailing and chanting anti-government songs, lamented that the government did not give them any prior notice before demolishing their houses.

They alleged that the government demolished their houses after selling their land to a Chinese company for industrial purpose without paying them compensation.

The residents were armed with placards with inscriptions, such as: “Ajegunle, Araromi community must exist, please save our soul”, “Dapo Abiodun, save us, respect court injunction” and “We have no where to go”, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the legal adviser to the community, Oduwole Olusoga lamented that, the government failed to obey a court injunction refraining it from demolishing their houses.

Olusoga said, “We have a court injunction refraining the state government from doing this dastard act that they have taken today.

“There is a subsisting court injunction, we served them, we did everything and there was so many interventions, but despite all, the government went ahead to demolished our houses.

“The Chinese man the government sold our land to has been boasting around, he said he sponsored Dapo Abiodun’s second term election, that there is nothing we have, that the will pulled this place down.

“Even with a court injunction, they took this step, we are still in court. Multimillion investments are being destroyed, look at what they down to our property.

“The Chinese man has he own factory, but he is interested in taking over everything, the governor should please safe our soul.

“They did not allow us access into our property, they are pulling everything down, our belongings are still inside.

“We want our land, we don’t want compensation even when they have demolished our structures, we want our land, let them give us back our land.

“We have not been compensated. There was no notification, the government did not notify us before destroying our structures.

“We have written several letters to the governor’s office, to the Bureau of Lands and serving them the court injunction refraining them from taking any action on the land”.

When contacted for reaction, the Director General of Bureau of Lands and Survey, Segun Fowora said the Ogun State Government duly acquired 2 km corridor acquisition along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway as far back as 1998. This corridor ordinarily represents the state to the whole world being the major entrance to the state and proper management of the axis is more desirable and controlling development within the corridor is the prerogative of government.

All developments along the axis must therefore conform with state planning requlation. Any contravention on occupation and developments must face consequences of violating the laws of the state.

For purpose of clarification, all illegal occupation and developments on government land are always notified before government take appropriate actions against the illegal developments.

In the present instance, appropriate agencies of government had served several notices of contravention to all the illegal occupiers and developers.

In line with standard practice, the valuation of existing interest is usually done and compensation paid to those unexhausted improvements.

However, unknown individuals in flagrant violation of extant laws started building on government land without any valid documents nor title from the state and without building permit from appropriate Government Agency.

This is an attempt to deprive investors the right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of land.

As a responsive and responsible administration, if this is allowed to stand, it will portray the state as unserious in the committee of foreign investors.

To this extent, the state has directed the appropriate Agency of Government using the instrumentality of law and following due process to remove any illegal encroachments so as to deliver a peaceful and quiet enjoyment to our development partners. In this regards, the state has done no wrong.

Members of the public should expect more of this action from the state particularly those who are bent on violating the provisions of the law. The members of the public should also note that the state is wary of actions that portray her in bad light.

Members of the public are hereby advised to conduct necessary due diligence so as not to fall prey to dubious land speculators.

Credit: Salient Times

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