Landlords and residents of Agric-Owutu in Ikorodu Local Government area of Lagos State on Thursday, November 2, 2023 resisted the bulldozer that came from the Ministry of Physical Planning to demolish their houses because of the Agric-Owutu-Isawo-Arepo road construction.
They claimed that the case is already with the Lagos High Court and pledged not to compromise their rights until the court adjudicates on the matter.
The truce between the landlords and the demolition team was brokered by the police officers that accompanied the bulldozers as well as workers from the Ministry of Physical Planning who were around for the demolition exercise.
The residents claimed that the Lagos State Government has refused to dialogue with them since their intention to acquire and demolish their buildings for public use, saying they neither committed any infraction nor crime except that they are masses who do not have influential people in government.
While the landlords expressed fears that bulldozers may return in the depth of night to carry out the callous act, the police officers assured the residents that the court order would be obeyed.
They, however, wondered why, despite writing petitions and protests to the governor and the Lagos State House of Assembly, as well as approaching the Lagos State High Court, the government officials are pursuing what they termed as executive recklessness, by moving in to demolish their houses which they own legally.
The Lagos State House of Assembly had earlier promised the landlords that their buildings would not be demolished until they would have summoned them to address the matter between them and the Ministry of Work, Ministry of Physical Planning, as well as the construction company.
This is sequel to the seven-day quit notice issued to them by the Ministry of Physical Planning to remove their houses without any prior consultations.
The landlords said they had reconstructed their houses after former governor Akinwunmi Ambode partly demolished the same set of buildings about five years ago; after which a new boundaries was given.
They said most landlords later reconstructed their buildings with bank loans while others resorted to property developers.
According to the counsel to the landlords, Barr. Alexander Ishoga, the landlords are not against the State Government or the development of the state, but they suspect foul play in the sudden re-design of the road under construction. He said if Lagos State as led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is truly interested in acquiring those buildings for public use, it should come to the open and do due diligence by engaging the landlords appropriately.
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank