Landlords in Agbado-Okearo, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, have appealed to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, to stop an attempt by the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC), to demolish over 400 houses in the area.
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Samson Abegunde, chairman of the Agbado-Okearo Community Development Association, made the appeal in a statement on Sunday, according to The PUNCH.
He urged Abiodun to prevail on Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to order the LSWC to stop any demolition of houses in the area.
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Abegunde said houses numbering about 400 have been marked for demolition, to pave way for pipelines that the LSWC plans to lay in the area through to Lagos.
According to him, most of the landlords have been living in the area since 1972 without any problem.
“We are appealing to Governor Dapo Abiodun, a listening and sympathetic governor, to assist us, the landlords, by prevailing on his Lagos counterpart to stop the demolition of our houses,” he said.
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“The community has been in existence since after the civil war, while the water corporation was established in 1986.
“Also, most landlords in the community have the necessary documents, including approved plans by the Ogun State Government”.
The CDA chairman stated that the last time the corporation embarked on laying of water pipes in the community, many landlords died without getting compensation.
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He advised the LSWC to lay the pipes behind the waterworks in the area, as an alternative route to Lagos.
Abegunde also advised the corporation to use the pig farm in the Okearo area as an alternative route to Lagos.
A former chairman of the CDA, Christopher Ajayi, said landlords and residents were surprised to see officials of the water corporation with task force personnel on July 4, 2020, in the area, to mark houses they laboured to build for demolition.
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Ajayi said most of the landlords have their Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), issued to them by the Ogun State government.
However, in his reaction, Gbenga Omotosho, Commissioner for Information in Lagos, however, stated that the project is a collaboration between both state governments.
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He noted that the Lagos government is ready to compensate those that will be affected by the project.
He said: “The Ogun and Lagos state governments are collaborating on the Adiyan waterworks and nobody is going to demolish anybody’s house illegally. The compensation for the community is ready but we are waiting for the paper work from the Ogun State Government.
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“The two governments are meeting; nobody is going to take anybody’s property by force. The people have nothing to fear; Lagos is ready to pay compensation.”