By Bisade Ojoye
Residents of Jakande Estate, Mile 2, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on the State Government to intervene in the activities of Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) and Lagos State Taskforce on Environment LSTE’s bid to take over their community recreation park from them.
The residents, today held a peaceful protest calling for the intervention of the State Government on the suspected land grabbers using the office of the state government to hijack landed property meant for the community purposes.
With different inscription of placards which reads; ‘LBIC Handoff Our Utility Space’, ‘Don’t Flood Our Homes’, Dictatorship Is An Affront To Democracy’. ‘Don’t Deny Us The Right To A Decent Living.’ Don’t Stop Ventilation Here’.
The protesters who observed and maintained Covid-19 guidelines and protocols with the use of face masks and keep social distancing which includes old and young community residents decried the unwarranted and illegal incursion into the neighborhood land around the community.
An elderly man, Mr. Gabriel Amidu, who spoke to us during the demonstration, said he has been living in Jankande Estate in Mile 2, for the past 40 years. He said, “This is not the first time Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) will be attempting to sell off this parcel of 1,300 square meters of land meant for the community utility purposes.
He said; “In 1997, they sold this land, and the community protested, but with the intervention of the current Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and former Military Governor of Lagos State, Rtd. Muhammed Buba Marwa they stopped the process of the sales of the land. But 24 years later, they are now back to resell the land to faceless and unknown developers. We challenged them and demanded who the developers were but they refused to disclose to us.”
Mr. Amidu said; “several times, our community lives in fear when State securities come with different ambitions to threaten, intimidate and terrorize us with different security forces.”
He said; “they intends to set up high raising four structure buildings of single bedroom to multiple numbers of people living here besides 13 blocks, 6 flats that are 78 families as each flat has a minimum of 5-8 families. We cannot allow them to build such structures and deprive us of fresh breathe which is dangerous to our health. The land is also prone to flooding.” He said.
As for Mrs. Laleye Ajoke, she said; “we are handicapped and want the State Government to help us on this matter. Taking recreation parks from us is like preventing the community from enjoying their lives. We use these pieces of land for many things; parties, car parks and for our generators.”
“The land is a community land, and its for recreational utility so, selling this land will be inimical to us as residents. We are agents of progressive, we are therefore urging Mr. Governor to use his good office to address this issue amicably and please stop them from selling off the land. The land is 1,300 square meters and its meant for community car park, childrens’ playing ground, and utility purpose said Mr. Thompson Tom.
The community is therefore, pleading to the former Governor of Lagos, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and current Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to come to their rescue and intervene in the matter.