Ogun serves ‘illegal occupants’ quit notice over water project
FOLLOWING a seven-day notice issued by the Ogun State Urban and Regional Planning Development Board to residents of Akute, Baale, Akin-Osi and Oke Aro communities to vacate their houses for contravening Lagos State Water Corporation pipeline right of way, ‘the homeowners have urged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to wade into the matter.
The government has also mapped out a 50 meters land space for the proposed project, which residents consider a service to them and are appealing to the government to bring it down to about 20 meters to reduce the number of displaced and homeless people.
According to the Chairman of Joint Community Development Council Appeal Committee, Rev. Joshua Adegbola, “We know they have designed the project as a listening government, we want both states, Lagos and Ogun to help us reduce the number of houses they want to demolish and allow houses that are not directly affected by the pipe to stay. We have been given seven days to present our papers and (or) vacate the place, which is too short for a notice.
“Even as we are aware that there are some houses that will be unavoidably demolished, we want the government to design social programmes to mitigate the effect of the demolition.”
He, however, noted that most of the affected house owners are aged and retirees who have no steady means of livelihood as pulling down their homes will further aggravate their predicaments. “The government should know that meaningful projects are people-driven,” he added.
Chairman Ore-Ofe Community Development Council, Akute, Dr. Titus Folusho, noted that the proposed project will affect 95 per cent of the people in the community, and is appealing to the government to have mercy on them. “From our findings, the pipes to be laid will not take more than two-three meters and so demolishing over 6,000 houses will constitute nuisance.
“They are telling us that they need to put their materials on the rest of the land space, but then there is a space of land where mechanics put up, why can’t they use that place to keep their materials instead of displacing too many people. When they finish, they will go away with their materials and all those places will be bushy and become hideout for criminals, which is not good for us and so we are appealing to the government to reason along with us and consider the loses to the gains.”