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Traditional rulers call for truce over disputed site of road project in Ijegun

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The Oniba of Ibaland, Oba Suilamon Adeshina Raji and Onijegun of Ijegunland, Oba Nureini Akinremi, have appealed to residents of Ijedodo and Ijegun affected by the decision of the Lagos State Government to site a 16km road to link Abule Ado, Badagry Road, to show understanding and view it as part of their sacrifice for development in the area.

The leaders made the appeal at a stakeholders’ meeting, which was summoned by Oba Akinremi in his palace to find a lasting solution to the crisis between ‘Omonile’ (land owners) and affected residents of Ijedodo and Ijegun, who had claimed that their houses had been wrongfully marked for demolition forbeing on ‘Right of Way’ (RoW) of the road project following the decision of the state government to change site of the proposed road against what was on the original Model City 2010-2020 plan.

Oba Akinremi urged the affected residents to show understanding and not allow the crisis over decision to site the road to truncate the opportunity the road would offer the community.

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He also said: “The essence of the meeting is to brainstorm on how to forge ahead and we must ensure whatever we agreed upon must also interest the governor. We must arrive at a peaceful resolution for the sake of the people.”

Also, Oba Raji admonished the residents to accept the decision of the state government on where to site the road in good fate irrespective of the inconveniences it might pose to them.

“We must know that we are the ones that requested for road because I am aware, accessing the community right now is terrible because the roads are too bad. It is possible that you have built your houses with your retired benefits or borrowed loan, this is painful and I empathised with those that would be affected, but there is nothing we can do if the government has decided.

“For this reason, I promised to give each of the affected residents/landlords 2,000 blocks of nine or six inches and I will stand by you in every attempt to ensure you collect your compensation.”

But speaking on behalf of the affected residents, one Pastor Clement stated that some of the residents had gone through pains as a result of the shock of the impending demolition of their houses.

He stated: “Our houses are not on the right of way. There is a place marked for the project as far back 1972. If the government decides otherwise, I think there is a procedure to take.

“Most of the affected landlords have died while some are still in hospitals due to shock. As we speak, ‘omonile’ are selling and building on the original sites.”

However, the Oniba of Ibaland also requested the counsel representing the affected residents, Michael Babalola, to think of how the matter could be resolved out of court.

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