Protesters numbering about a thousand stormed the Ogun State governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Thursday, over an alleged plot by the government to wipe out Ajegunle/Araromi Community in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State in the name of development.
The angry protesters who in their peaceful protest caused a standstill in the governor’s office for a period of time, accused the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun of planning to render over three thousand residents of the community homeless.
Leading the protesters who were armed with placards with various inscriptions ; ‘We grew up there,we have no place to go’,'Human right save us’, ‘Please don’t send us away’ among others, the village head,Tajudeen Aina and Iyaloja of the community,Omotayo Amos begged the governor to shelve the plan in the interest of the people.
He said, ” our community had earlier conceded mass portion from the community land to government where both trailer park and Nestle company were sited.
“The government again suddenly sent quit notice to the residents of over 1,000 houses in the community to quit ,saying the authority needed all the entire community land space.
“Over three thousand people live in the community and majority earned their living from there,why is it that it is the same community the government wants to pull down all its houses for projects that were not made known to the landlords and residents”.
Reacting to the allegation, the government claimed that all the buildings in the community are illegal structures, that prompted it to write a quit notice under 24hours after receipt of the notice order.
The notice order made available to our correspondent was dated March 4,2013, with number 1011396 which was signed by Urban and Regional Planning, indicating the alleged contravention and demolition notice.
“The buildings in the community which are located along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are illegal structure.
“Notice is hereby given that if the said contravention is not removed within 24hours days from the date of service of this notice,the said contravention shall be demolished and the cost of such demolition shall be recovered from you” the letter stated. While denying the allegation levelled against them, the community leader said all the buildings were illegal structures, arguing that all the buildings there have approved survey plan.
He said, “the information at our disposal is that the government is planning to take over the 120 hectares mass land of the community so as to re-sell it to foreign investors at the expense of the innocent residents
“We don’t want development that will deny us our rights and make us to suffer,where do they want us to go,”he said. Attending to the protesters,the Governor Special Adviser on Security Matter, Patrick Akinduro assured them that he would make their grievances known to the governor.
While appreciating their peaceful conduct which he advised them to maintain, the governor security aide said, the authority would get back to them latest next Monday.
“I learnt that some people from Ajegunle/Araromi are protesting and came to address you. I will report your grievances to the governor who knows better and we shall get back to you latest on Monday,just ensure you maintain peace”, Akinduro stressed.