Leader of the protesters, Femi Kazeem, called on the Federal Government to prevail on security agents to stop the unnecessary invasion of the area.
The youths in Oguntedo, Satellite Town, Lagos, on August 3, 2018, staged a peaceful protest against what they described as incessant killings and harassment of members of the community allegedly by security agents. It is not unconnected with a disputed large parcel of land said to belong to Latifu Sadiku Olarinde, Olu Oba-elect of Oguntedo.
They lamented that fear has driven many members of the community away to take abode in nearby towns. Leader of the protesters, Femi Kazeem, called on the Federal Government to prevail on security agents to stop the unnecessary invasion of the area.
Olarinde explained: “It was during late General Murtala Muhammed as Head of State in 1975 that l acquired the large expanse of land. Unfortunately, after the death of Murtala, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo came into power he visited the village and held a meeting with the ruling family. The former president said the land that was to be acquired would be used to build Nigerian Navy quarters and be converted to Satellite Town project for low and medium income workers in the employment of government and private firms.
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“Obasanjo promised to give the family another land at Finniger, which they would use as farmers since their major occupation was farming. The land was the first Satellite Town allocated drawing plan. It was endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Works Public Building Division. It was a proposed that it would be used to build a playing ground, primary and secondary schools while our resettlement land would be for farming.”
He said it became shocking that three years after the resettlement by the government in August 1978, when they observed that some individuals who were related to a certain senator took over a portion of the area and began to build houses on them. He went to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, to make enquiries and those he met said that they were acting on instructions from a director in the ministry.
Three years after, the Oba-elect said he saw the same man on the village extension and he asked him what he was doing there and he said he had gotten approval from Ministry of Defence.
He recalled how he went there and met one of the Defence directors, who promised him that he was going to investigate the matter. When he visited him again as agreed, he claimed the director told him that there was nothing like that in their file because they have not allocated any portion of the land to any individual or group of persons:
“He has also used the police at different times to visit the palace and arrested some members of my family. My life is at stake and my family is not safe. That is why for some time now I no longer live in my palace with my family.
“I have written petitions to the Land Division, Ministry of Works and Housing, Abuja. They sent one of their staff to investigate the matter and while we were on the land, the same came to meet us and brought a document showing that he is the owner of the land. Unfortunately for him, the official him; ‘nobody has allocated this land to you.’
“The family wrote two petitions against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing over the acquisition of the land.
“I have written a petition against the DSS, Inspector General of Police, OC SARS, Ikeja, Panti and Alagbon. They have turned this land to a marketplace to make money. They are struggling among themselves, who is to take charge of the matter. All the different agencies have served letters on my family members in a bid to frustrate and intimidate us.
“On August 1, 2018, they visited my palace in their commando style. They shot indiscriminately into the air and one of the stray bullets killed a motor boy in his truck packed in front of the palace. A trader who was in her shop was shot in the leg.
“I see no reason security agents would not listen to the judiciary. I attended court and the case has been adjourned. Yet, they have not honoured or obeyed the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man.”
Lateef Olarinde, secretary to the royal family said: “The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Ministry of land and Housing have continuously allocated part of the land to some individuals and land grabbers. We went to court and the court declared that the disputed land belongs to us in 1989.
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“We have a press release from the Federal Government which declared that the land in question belongs to us. We have made efforts get our land back from these people. But they have resorted to harass us with SARS operatives from Ikeja.
“One of the land grabbers said he has documents to the land and in conjunction with some individuals wrote to SARS operatives in Lagos alleging that the Olarinde Family are hoodlums. Two days ago, they came to our palace and shot indiscriminately into the air and killed a motor boy who was sitting in his truck. Most of our family members have been arrested and taken to court on frivolous charges that we are in possession of firearms, which they have used to threaten and intimidate us so that the land grabbers will continue to build on the land.
“We have been written various petitions against them and most times, they would write letters of acknowledgment confirming that they have received our petitions.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to come and intervene in this matter so that more lives would not be wasted.”