Badagry demolition: Lawmaker meets displaced residents, promises amicable resolution
THE recently constituted four-man committee by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate the alleged wrongful demolition of Atinporomeh, Araromi Ale Extension and Mowo Phase 2 communities in Badagry, met with the displaced residents, where the Baale of Mowo, Chief Peter Ajayi, revealed how he was induced with money and later humiliated because of his refusal to give up the land.
The committee, which was led by the Chief Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Rotimi Abiru and the representative of Badagry constituency, Hon. Sentoji David, visited the disputed area for an on-the-spot assessment.
Speaking on behalf of the displaced residents, Chief Peter Ajayi gave a brief history of the disputed land which emphasized that it actually belongs to the people of Atinporomeh, Araromi Ale Extension and Mowo Phase 2 communities and how the land was wrongfully acquired from them.
According to the Bale: “All of a sudden we saw a surveyor who we suspected had been sent to measure the land, and we told him that ‘you are in the wrong place’.
Later they brought out money that this is for me and my Chiefs which I refused to collect.” At another time, I was invited to Omole Phase 2, and was also promised a lot of things including a befitting house, scholarship for my children, money and so on, only if I could cooperate and sale the land to them.
I bluntly refused all these entreaties, but I was later arrested on phantom charges of using thugs to cause trouble in the area and taken to police station.
One Sunday evening, they came again, and I was told they were coming to demolish the community the next day. I pleaded with them that they were on the wrong land and they responded that they would contact the governor, which I suspected they actually did.” “But to my surprise, the following day, they started the demolition with over 100 armed police officers from the Lagos State Task Force, putting everybody under siege and brought down everything,” the Bale stated.
The Chairman of the displaced residents, Chief Charles Adu, also stated that this inhumanity to them prompted their decision to take the matter to court where they are asking for the sum of N100 billion as compensation, but they are ready to resolve the issue with the intervention of the committee, provided justice would be done in their interest.
The Chief Whip of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rotimi Abiru, commended the peaceful conduct of the people and requested the Baale to get together all vital documents of the disputed land, that they will send an invitation to them for further actions.
Hon. Abiru also sympathized with the people over their plight and promised that his committee would be upright to ensure justice is done.