By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
JUST as Rivers and Bayelsa states tackled each other over ownership of some oil wells, a big fight may be brewing over the recent discovery of crude oil in the soil of Lagos State.
Barely three weeks after Sunday Sun published the story of the good news in Badagry Local Government Area, a community has come up with the claims that the black gold wells are located in their community.
Apa Kingdom, the acclaimed oldest ancient community in Badagry division of Lagos State falls under the Badagry West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State.
It is against this background that the community has assured Folawiyo Services Limited, the petroleum exploration company that found oil in the state, of full supportive roles for the success of the project. The assurance was given in Lagos during a chat with Sunday Sun by the community’s paramount ruler, the Alapa of Apa of Egun Awori, Apa Kingdom, in Badagry West of the state, His Royal Majesty, Oba Oyekan Ajose Adekanmbi Ilufemiloye (JP) Possi III.
Speaking through one of his princes, Ademola Bankole, the monarch, disclosed that the oil wells and the deep seaport are in their backyard and, therefore, closer to Apa Kingdom with 46 communities than any other settlements within the region. He added: “My kingdom occupies 7, 000 hectares of land as against only 1,300 hectares of land occupied by the Badagry axis of the division.”
Against this backdrop, Alapa, a first class traditional ruler in Lagos State with consenting authority said, “With this overbearing advantage in terms of land in the entire division, coupled with the fact that the project falls within my territory, we have greater supportive roles to play in the project.”
The elated prince said further: “That makes the Alapa exceptionally important as the consenting authority with superintendent power over 46 communities of Egun Awori people.” He enthused that possibilities of onshore oil were high, disclosing that earlier research by experts indicated that Apa Kingdom is an oil rich community, just as he reiterated his people’s readiness to support the government in whatever capacity for the growth and development of the state, adding, “we have both land and human resources in abundance to handle any development challenges,”
These claims of the Apa Kingdom were subtly alluded to in the interview granted Sunday Sun correspondent in the last publication by a High Chief in Badagry, Dr. Hundogan Samuel, Agoloto of Badagry 1, where he said the largesse belongs to several communities in the division. The Alapa, whose people had envisaged the God-given blessing, has inaugurated a committee to map out a blueprint for a new and modern town for the community.
Chairman of the Implementation Committee, Prince Ademola Bankole told Sunday Sun: “That is the reason we are seeking takeover from the government for development, the lands it acquired and had not put into use since acquisition.
Bankole stated that the kingdom needs the lands in question for community development schemes.
“This purpose is contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the royal father and the Implementation Committee set up by the monarch and headed by me, Prince Ademola Bankole. The 16-member committee, which was inaugurated in 2014, was mandated to put in place new town development schemes from Apa Kingdom and to implement the blueprint for the kingdom’s development.”
The monarch, Bankole disclosed, reasoned that, “for our community to strive and contribute its quota to the general development of the state, solid physical and infrastructural commitments must be in place to usher the economic development that would make Apa prosper and create numerous growth opportunity for our people.”
The committee was, therefore, mandated to design a new town development scheme that would be the envy of other communities in Lagos State and make Apa Kingdom the crest of the centre of excellence.
Prince Bankole added that the earlier notion that Apa Kingdom was only good for agricultural purposes had been erased as the kingdom now appears to be good for every good thing.
“Now, it is good for everything from seaport to airport, university, agricultural town, hospitality town, technology town with convergence of security villages around it like the Nigeria Army Reece Battalion, the Nigeria Artillery Unit in addition to Nigerian Police formation to ensure adequate security for all concerned,” the prince explained.
He stressed that the provision of modernity would pave way for the systemic phasing out of rural settlement that would emerge as super urban and middle class schemes on the completion of the proposed New Apa Town.
He then said: “The state government will not put any impediment on our path when we have provided solid plans for the use of the acquired land to which we seek excision to execute these schemes.”