Residents of Ijegun, Ijeododo and Abule Ado area of Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Iba and Alimosho areas of Lagos are begging the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to prevent the LCDA from carrying out its threat to demolish more than 200 houses in the area.
A letter to the effect has been forwarded to the governor and other agencies responsible for infrastructural development in the state, it was learnt.
In a reminder letter, dated September 2, 2020, addressed to the LCDA chairman, counsel to the affected residents, J.B. Alalade Chambers, appealed to the concerned authorities to spare all the existing buildings marked for demolition from Ijegun-Ijeododo Road down to Abule Ado.
The letter reminded the authorities that the affected members of the community were crying for help, as thousands of Lagos citizens who voted for the government would be rendered homeless, if government demolished their properties.
The letter noted that all the property owners in the area have approved registered survey plans and approved certificates of occupancy (C of Os) issued by the Lagos State government.
Last week, residents Ijeododo community were at the Ijegun Bus Stop in their numbers to receive a delegation from the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning. Residents had been worried since January when the state government announced plans to construct a 19.39km road to link Ijegun, Ijeododo and Abule-Ado.
But they got the shock of their lives on August 27, when houses numbering over 300 were marked for demolition for being on the project’s Right of Way (RoW).
Following agitations by the residents and petitions sent to the governor, the state government sent a visitation team from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) to look into the residents’ complaints and inspect the site.
The residents lamented that the road project was being taken out of the original Lagos State plan that had earlier been delineated with landmarks and which was far from the NNPC pipeline’s RoW also in the same area.
Receiving the government delegation in his palace, the Onijegun of Ijegun Kingdom, Oba Nureni Alani Akinremi, urged the officials to be honest in the discharge of their assignment of inspecting the communities and the original places marked for the construction of the road.
He said: “The master plan had marked out a particular place for a road construction project. I, therefore, plead that, as representatives of government, you go to the archive and get the original plan for the road. It is not possible to site a road on a pipeline or close to it. We all are aware of the past incidents of fire outbreak in Ijegun, and that is why I urge caution and sincerity.
“Ensure you carry out your assignment without taking sides. Check out all the areas marked out with Lagos State government pillars and inspect them without fear.”
Leading the team into the community, Mr. S.O. Aboderin, leader of the representatives of Ijegun/Ije-Ododo residents whose houses have been marked for the intended demolition, said the sharp practices of some land-grabbers to sell government-acquired portions of land was putting the project in limbo.
“We urge government to use the approved road marked in its master plan, which is from Irede Street down to the canal linking Abule Ado, rather than use the road by the NNPC pipeline. Because NNPC is not permitting them to construct close to its pipelines, they have now moved some metres into the community to mark some buildings for demolition, deviating from the original plan and route.”
The inspection team promised that they would carry out their assignment accordingly. They were taken round the community and shown the areas with the original landmarks of the state government. It was gathered that some properties had started springing up on the marked areas while roads are being carved out for building sites.
A resident, Samanco, said: “I have my approved plan and the survey plan for my plot of land. And what they told us when we came here was that we should not tamper with the pipeline in any form. It is the land speculators that are causing problems in the area as they sell land recklessly.”
Another resident who spoke during the visit said many residents of the area have taken ill, with some others developing high blood pressure since their houses were marked for demolition.