By Johnson Adebowale
For the sake of their own progress, members of the affected families of the Free Trade Zone resettlement have been enjoined to give peace a chance.
The Central Working Committee made the call at the general meeting last Wednesday, at the Recreation Centre in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State.
In 2006, when the Lekki Free Zone was created, about three communities were affected. They are Abomiti, Yeguda, and Eyin-Osa. However, the government allocated another land, which is 10 percent of what it compulsorily acquired for the displaced communities elsewhere for their resettlement.
Some top Lagos State government officials, including a commissioner and some kings, were earlier accused of attempting to hijack the land from the original owners, but this was, however, resolved after several petitions and protests to the governor’s office by the affected communities.
It is now left for the communities to ensure peace and progress among themselves, which was the paramount agenda for last Wednesday’s meeting.
Among the major agenda of the meeting, which was held amidst tight security, was to present the enumeration for each family land and, also, to resolve disputes amongst families.
Last Wednesday’s meeting was targeted at Eyin-Osa and was also considered the last of a series of meetings.
Security was provided by both the Nigerian military and the Nigerian Police Force due to an earlier rumour of a possible attack on certain individuals by some cult groups attached to some aggrieved families. This is what necessitated the presence of the Human Rights Monitors Agenda, led by Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, to ensure no one’s rights were openly violated.
Indigenous family representatives were called with their Baales (community heads) to present their families’ positions on the enumeration.
Families represented include Ikujeniya; Otun Onija; Baruwa Shosho; Abdullah Baruwa; Oniga Ikosu; Ogunranmi; Eleshin Oke-Ira; Lafenwa; Muibi Baruwa Oju Orisa; Laporu and Omitutu.
While many families agreed to the enumeration presented to them and openly declared that there were no issues among them, a few families did not agree to the figures given on their families’ shares, among other arrangements by the community, and this included their choice of estate investors.
Hon. Saheed Ibile finally appealed for peace and encouraged all with yet-to-be-addressed issues to present the same through their families’ representatives and promised that all would be addressed with no stress.
The representative of the Laporu family, Comrade Adijat Apena, who is one of the major signatories to the MoU between the Lagos State government and affected communities, said that all steps will be taken to ensure transparency, equity, and justice.
“We cannot get complete justice without stepping on some toes. For instance, the Onapotu family and Lufomu Agoro have no right to Eyin-Osa land, not until they surrender what they are unjustly sitting on for the general good of all, “Comrade Apena declared.