We have remained peace despite lack of communication from government– landowners
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday called for calm in his first visit to Magodo Phase 2 after Shangisha Landlord Association moved to take over the estate to implement the Supreme Court judgment that mandated the state government to give back 549 plots of land to the original owners of the area.
Sanwo-Olu was as the estate about 3:00p.m, indicated interest in finally meeting with the landowners.
“We will all go through this and come out with an amicable resolution. So, I want everyone to ensure that peace will be restored in the estate, and I want people to go about their lawful businesses,” he said.
The governor assured residents that nobody will be harassed, no property would be demolished and no house would be marked again.
“We will see what to do about those already marked. We will have an extended conversation tomorrow (today) with the judgment creditors so we can bring everything to final closure. The policemen have been recalled and nothing will happen,” he stated and assured Magodo will continue to remain peaceful.
However, an unnamed Chief Superintendent of Police openly defied the order of the Governor. The CSP told the governor that he and his colleagues were at the estate on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, as well as the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Until yesterday when the governor visited the estate amidst protest by residents over the continued presence of policemen in the area, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako had on December 22, 2021, visited the landowners in Shangisha to call for a peaceful resolution, which they agreed to, but he never came back the family said.
The Magodo management early yesterday shut the two gates leading into the estate, which led to the disruption of vehicular movement.
They protested the presence of the policemen who have been in the estate since December 2021. The Chairman, Magodo Residents’ Association, Bajo Osinubi, claimed over 50 policemen are living within the estate and that the residents want them out of the estate.
“There are no cases of kidnapping, rioting, but why are they still here? We want them out of our estate” he explained.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday in a telephone conversation, lawyer to the Shangisha Landlord Association, Deji Fasusi said the landowners have been peaceful since the judgment was delivered and that they are awaiting the government action on the next stage.
“Nothing has happened, no words from the government since our last press briefing. We have not heard from the office of the Lagos State government after the visit of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako. Though few residents have visited us but there is no official position on the matter. We never heard any news from Magodo until this morning (yesterday) when we read about their protest.
“The government claimed it wants peace in Magodo, but there has been nothing done after December 22, 2021, when the commissioner visited. The judgment creditors are law-abiding people and they have been peaceful despite the lack of communication from the government and, this has been the tactics the government has employed for years. Several delay tactics have been employed since the Supreme Court judgment in 2012. The apex court order will be useless if we do not implement it.
“We called to meet with the state governor, but we were told that the governor’s itinerary has been planned for the week, but in all of this, we have remained civil in our engagement. I believe the government should consider this as a serious matter. Our leaders must understand that it is some people that put them in this position, and unfortunately, the people that created the problem and allocated the land to their cronies are no longer in government, and now, the government must consider the agitation seriously because people’s properties are at stake. We are ready to meet with the government if they are willing.”
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