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HomeGeneralOjomu: Activists beg Sanwo-Olu to address menace of land grabbers in Lagos

Ojomu: Activists beg Sanwo-Olu to address menace of land grabbers in Lagos

Ojomu: Activists beg Sanwo-Olu to address menace of land grabbers in Lagos

Human rights activists, under the platform of the Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) have called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and security agents to prioritise halting menace of land grabbing across the state.

The activists, who particularly highlighted the threats to public peace by land grabbers in Ojomu Communities (Ajiranland) in Eti Osa called for government’s intervention to stop incessant harassment, criminal trespass and violent activities by land grabbers in the state.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Mr Alex Omotehinse, the President of CHSR said that the security and welfare of the people should be more paramount to Sanwo-Olu as

Omotehinse said: “We are deeply concerned by the continuous threats to public peace as a result of the unlawful activities of land grabbers in Ojomu Community otherwise referred to AJIRAN LAND in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

“Activities of land grabbers should be curtailed. The governor of Lagos State must rise up to the occasion to secure the people of the state and their property-that is the primary responsibility of a government.

“There are land grabbing all over Lagos in Ikorodu, Epe, Lekki, Eti-Ota, Lekki, Babagry axis and that government and law enforcement agencies are not acting as expected. For land grabbing to be a lucrative business in Lagos State, some state actors are involved.”

The activist said that several letters and petitions had been written and submitted by victims and human rights activists to relevant authorities and governor to alleviate the pains of people, but were yet to receive attention from the government.

According to him, if the state anti-land grabbing agency fails to protect victims, the people may resort to self help, which will not help the state.

“We want him (Sanwo-Olu) to stand as the chief security officers of the state and act fast on these issues by directing relevant agency to be up and doing or scrab them.

“We want him to also do a private investigation in the Ministry of Lands where these elements (land grabbers) are getting fake documents from.

“People are crying, and the ruling APC saw part of these anger against them in the build up to the election. The governor should take a proactive action. The issue of land grabbers should be brought to an end.

“Lagos residents are bittered, they are in pains because of what they are experiencing in the hands of these violent thugs grabbing people’s land as well as extortions by motor touts,” he said.

On the Ojomu Community’s case, Omotehinse said that the intervention of Civil Society stakeholders had become imperative to put an end to reckless abuse of human rights and to forestall further disorderliness in Ajiran land in the interest of public peace.

He described the situation in the community, “as malicious disobedience of constituted authorities as well as brazen disregard for the laws of Lagos State as enforceable in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

Omotehinse said that the CHSR had received a number of complaints on activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community, and various petitions by concerned stakeholders on such activities had been extensively reviewed by CSOs.

He said that some of these petitions had been forwarded to the Nigeria Police as well as Ministries, Agencies and critical actors of Lagos State Government including the Governor, his Chief of Staff and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.

Omotehinse added that the petition had also been submitted to Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, and the Coordinator, Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers.

He explained that the unlawful activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community involved snatching of lands from rightful allottees as well as criminal trespass on legitimately acquired lands in flagrant violation of the extant laws of Lagos State.

He said that more disturbing was the blatant negation of existing valid agreements between land owners and the bonafide family in Ojomu community by the land grabbers

Omotehinse called on both the Lagos State Government and Nigeria Police to put an end to harassment of authentic allottees and rightful owners of lands in Ojomu community and by extension Ajiran land.

He called on the Lagos State Government to protect legitimate authority of traditional institution in Ajiran land against the reckless insubordination of land grabbers.

The president demanded urgent investigation of human rights abuses being perpetrated by land grabbers in Ojomu community including intimidation and ostracizing of certain sons of Ojomu community.

“We demand that Lagos State Government investigate allegations of forgery of DEED OF ASSIGNMENT and other land related documents duly authorised and signed with the authority of Ojomu family as well as Lagos State land documents.

“We urge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to give immediate directives to relevant agencies to enforce the cessation of illegal activities of land grabbers in Ojomu community.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police to direct the Lagos State Command to ensure that the rights of innocent citizens are not trampled forthwith in Ojomu community in the interest of justice and peace,” he added.

Also speaking, Mr Shina Loremikan, the National Coordinator, the Campaign Against Impunity, who decried that land grabbers were in the habit of carrying dangerous weapons to afflict the people, urging security agencies to defend innocent people.

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