Lagos Magodo Residents Raise Alarm over Land Invasion Emma Okonji

0

Just as the dust of the recent crisis at the Lagos Magodo Phase Two is settling down gradually, similar crisis is already brewing up at the Lagos Magodo Phase One, where alleged land grabbers are trying to forcefully gain access into the estate.

The Chairman of Magodo GRA Phase 1 Gateway Zone Community Development Association (CDA), Mr. Ayo Fasugba, has raised the alarm that some officers within the police force are backing Mr. Jamiu Oloto and Mr. Ola Oladugba to take over parts of the estate under the guise of illegal road construction.

According to Fasugba, “Magodo Phase 1, Gateway Zone, in Lagos State has always enjoyed remarkable tranquility and good security until a group of land grabbers generally referred to as ‘Omonile’ started invading and infiltrating the Estate under the guise that they need another access road to a wetland space they claim they want to sell or develop. Their attraction for access through Gateway Zone is due to the level of infrastructural developments championed by the CDA. Residents of the estate claim that sometimes, these illegal land grabbers storm the estate with police officers in uniform.”

He however said the attention of relevant government parastatals had been drawn to the issue after several invasions from the land grabbers, adding that despite several letters from various state government agencies affirming the right of the estate, the threats and attacks have persisted.

He explained that one of the most violent attempts took place a few months ago, precisely in November 2021 when the suspected land grabbers led by Oloto and Oladugba, with deception and impersonation forcefully gained access into the Estate. He said they also brought an excavator-bulldozer into the estate and moved the equipment to the perimeter fence at the end of Ayo Fasugba Road, the major road on the estate, and demolished the walls at that point, claiming that the part demolished was the access road to the gorge where the plots of land they want to develop are located.

According to Fasugba, all efforts to stop them from further demolition by the residents available proved abortive as a mammoth crowd of hoodlums, numbering over 30, came in through the gorge and started chasing residents with different harmful weapons.

He said it was the prompt intervention of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that salvaged the situation while the excavator operator and one of the leaders of the suspected land grabbers were arrested as others took to their heels.

“Shockingly, the dispersed hoodlums later re-grouped in the evening to challenge the security persons positioned to protect the porous border. The hoodlums were quite boastful, claiming that they have the support of a certain Deputy-Inspector General of Police and the Lagos State Assembly, so no one can stop their illegal exploits,” Fasugba said.

He further said petitions have been written to the Commissioner of Police, and other government agencies to register the unlawful act of willful damage by land grabbers who invaded the Estate.

The CDA Chairman said it was so worrisome and the situation and apprehension were so heightened that residents are now very uncomfortable about the next moves of the land grabbers.

“We just hope the Inspector-General will call all his men to order on this issue to absolve the police of any complicity. We want the perpetrators of the dastardly act to be arrested and prosecuted by the Nigeria Police Force and we are seeking police protection while we make efforts to rebuild the segment of our fence that was demolished by the hoodlums,” Fasugba said.