BusinessDay

Ijedodo landlords call on Sanwo-Olu to save their properties from demolition

The Landlords’ Committee of Ijegun Ijedodo in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State has called on Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, to save the law abiding residents of the area from the demolition of their houses marked by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

According to the landlords, the government of Lagos State acquired the Right Of Way for the proposed road in 1972, traversing Ijegun from Ijegun Roundabout through Leye Street to Ijedodo down to Abule – Ado.

They said the Ministry of Lands and Office of the Surveyor General of Lagos State have the original layout of all roads in Lagos state including Ijegun/Ijeododo to Abule-Ado Areas of the state, and that the road is in the layout, the Master Plan of Lagos State, and is well drawn and clearly stated in the Alimosho Model City Plan 2010- 2020.

The committee said on August 27, 2020, the Ministry of Physical planning and Urban Development, came and wrongfully marked their houses that are situated at the right hand side of NNPC pipeline road from Five Junction of Ijegun through Ijeododo to Abulo-Ado numbering over 800 houses including eleven (11) places of worship for demolition in contravention of the Lagos State Master Plan, which took the entire community by surprise.

Women protesting the planned demolition

The decision of the Ministry has led to the death of six prominent landlords and many others, who have developed illnesses such as high blood pressure, making it one of the worst decisions to be contemplated in recent years, and that lands marked and meant for the master plan are still being sold.

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In a press statement, Clement Nkwachukwu, chairman of the committee of the affected landlords in Ijegun–Ijedodo, said they have written to the governor of Lagos State, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State Physical Planning and Permit Authority (LASPPA), Lagos State House of Assembly, Ikotun LCDA and Iba LCDA through their lawyer (J.B. Alalade Chambers).

He said in response to their letter, the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA) visited the two sites and confirm the road on the Master Plan with landmark pillars as evidenced and that the Lagos State House of Assembly also responded to their letter and invited them for meetings and also visited the two sides and promise to make the report of their intervention available but up till now they have not heard from them.

Unfortunately, for them, after writing several letters to the governor and other relevant agencies without any response on their intervention, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Ministry of Urban Development with the Ministry of Works on January 29, 2021 came for the second time and marked ‘Remove’ on all their properties in the affected areas.

The Government action prompted the affected community through the landlords association to seek for justice through the court, which made the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to hurriedly organise and invited the landlords for a stakeholders meeting on February 23, 2021, where they were served a notice of removal of structures within the R.O.W of Ijeododo Road in Alimosho Local government Area through a publication in the Punch Newspaper of February 18, 2021 for a matter that is already in court.

“They stated that the stakeholders meeting was to find an amicable solution but was not to endanger their predicament, so on February 22, 2021, they also responded to their publication on the same Punch Newspaper, and on April 27, 2021 we had a meeting with the Obas of Ijegun and Iba at the Palace of Oba of Ijegun where we furnished them with facts and that our position to the government is to return to the original plan,” Nkwachukwu said.

In a related development hundreds of women in the area are pleading and calling on the Lagos State government to leave them alone because they are suffering daily serious pains over constant harassment by government officials, and Omonile people. They said unknown faces constantly threaten the community that they will demolish their houses by 2am.

And the women have vowed to go naked from Ijegun to the Lagos State Government House if they are left alone.

The landlords said that they did not encroach on government land, neither did they build on the Master Plan meant for road construction, and that their buildings did not contravene Government Rights of Way and neither are they under high tension transmission lines, nor block the drainage system and are not under NNPC corridor, some have lived there for over 40 years.

“Meanwhile we are not against the road construction as being alleged by our adversaries, but our plea has been that the government should go back to the original Master Plan. Government officials have argued that their diversion was necessitated to save cost but at the expense of the lives of their members,” Nkwachukwu said further.

As a result the landlords are praying that the Lagos State Government should stick to the original master plan 2010 – 2020 and not to yield to pressure to seek for another alignment to avoid chaos, distortion of the plan and thereby denying the good people of Ijegun, Ijegano and Ijeododo the benefits that will accrue to them if that road is constructed accordingly.

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