The Lagos State government has yet to comment on the allegations levelled against it by some landlords, whose properties were marked out for demolition at Ijegun, Ijeododo, and Abule–Ado areas of Alimosho Local Government Area to pave the way for a proposed road construction project.
The landlords had in a recent publication said there was a master plan of Lagos State designated for road construction from Ijegun Bus Stop to Ijeododo, linking Abule-Ado, adding that they did not build on the government’s right of way as alleged.
They said their houses were wrongly marked out for demolition, in contravention of the Lagos State Master Plan for the community.
The Secretary to the affected landlords, S.O. Aboderin, in a letter to the Lagos State Governor, disclosed that their properties and houses were neither under high-tension wires nor blocking the drainage system.
Aboderin said some residents had been living in the area for over 40 years, adding that five landlords had died from a panic attack due to the harassment by land grabbers/government agencies.
Efforts made by Financial Street to get the response of the ministry overseeing the various demolition exercises in Lagos State, the Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning, to the allegation proved abortive.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Abiola Kosegbe, neither responded to calls nor replied to a text message seeking comment on the matter.
Financial Street also contacted the Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Mukaila Sanusi, for comment but to no avail.
Some of the fears entertained by the landlords and residents included forceful acquisition without adequate compensation.
The Land Use Act of 1978 spells out what constitutes compensation, in the event of a forceful takeover for ‘overriding public interest’ to include: cash crops on the land, unexhausted ground rent and the value of the developments on the site, to the exclusion of the value of the land.
All lands, irrespective of where situated, according to the Act, belongs to the state government.
Further investigations into what constitutes a master plan revealed that it includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals for a site’s population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use, or a comprehensive plan to allow a city to grow in an orderly manner, both economically and ecologically.
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