Traders at Oja-Oke, in Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos, have deplored their forced eviction from a parcel land on which there is a shopping complex and motor park. The traders, who sell their wares on a building erected on the land, claimed they were chased out of the land by suspected landowners, known in local parlance as omo-onile.
Moreover, they (traders) claimed they received N25,000 each as compensation and given two weeks to vacate the land.
Okafor Rose, one of the affected traders, said: “We were informed the land belonged to the government which we have over the years being paying rents to. At least we deserved to be spoken to and not to be chased away like animals. I have no place to go. We live in a lawless country. This is injustice.”
Ige Abigel, another trader, who sells plastic products in one of the shops built on the land, said they were pained about not being notified of the sale of the building.
He said: “What is most painful is that when a house is being sold, the owner of such house is meant to meet with tenants and inform them about the development.”
A bus driver, Ogungbemisola Thomas, said: “I have been in this bus station since 1994. And I have never heard in the past that a motor-park was sold. We use to think that this motor-park belongs to the government but when the land-grabbers surfaced and the government kept quit, there was nothing we can do.”
Newsbreak.ng sought to know who owned the land between the Lagos State Government and the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government.
Bolaji Ariyoh, Chairman Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, did not take the numerous telephone calls made to him and also did not respond to a text message.
Kayode Sutton, spokesman for the Lagos Land Bureau, said the state government does not allocate land to serve as motor parks, but mainly residential purposes.
“We also give land in respect to a scheme, where you now have other recreational facilities,” Sutton added.