By Ibidapo Balogun
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2016 World Habitat Day in October, the families of Olowobaju, Apena Ogunpodo, Falade and Idotun of Ileke Community, Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State, have urged the Nigerian government at all levels to respect the constitution as it concerns the rights to property of individuals and families.
The World Habitat Day was birthed by the United Nations in 1986 with the theme: “Shelter is My Right”. It was aimed at reaffirming adequate shelter, which is a basic human right; focus on the conditions of cities and towns…to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future.
The families led by their spokesman Otunba Oludare Falade, was speaking on the heel of land acquired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the sitting of his petroleum refinery and oil discovered on some other parts of the areas, claiming that the Lagos State government failed to consult the families involved before selling the portion of the lands.
Sharing the families’ situation with our Correspondent, Otunba Falade said the families and Ileke Community had suffered continuous oppression in various ways: socially, economically and humanly.
“My community is called ETO, ABUTE KOSU AND ILEKE. We are of Yoruba descendant presently located at Idotun in Ibeju-Lekki local government area of Lagos state Nigeria.
“My family and I, together with our community are the owners of Part of Epe Lagoon Area in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government area of Lagos state. We own hectares of land and swamp, evidence as shown in the certificate of occupancy Nunmber 65 at page 65 Volume 2009-1 dated 14th November 2009. In which token compensation without adequate consultation and compensation by government.
“The site is located along coastal road within free trade zone parcel “A” Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos state, Nigeria.
“This site contains several interests as a result of the following: (i) Individual ownership of some parts of the property, (ii) Family ownership of some parts of the property, (iii) Family shrine located in some part as well as (iii) Community ownership of the remaining portion.
“Our people and our community are peace loving and we appreciate that government at all level, oil fields in large quantity will soon be located in our property and the surroundings.
“However, we are very worried that most of the causes of land conflicts on private property may rear up its head due to: (a) Expropriations of owners by the state or powerful individuals: – (1) without compensation (2) without adequate compensation, (3) displacement of land owners whether private or common ownership without giving them sufficient rights. (b) Sales of somebody else private property- private person selling the property of another person (c) Leasing/renting of somebody else’s private property- that is, private person leasing or renting the property of another person etc.
“The government of many developing countries and countries in transition are currently investing in the improvement of land administration, the primary objective, being the development of a transparent and efficient land management with goals of decreasing land conflicts.
“Land conflicts also increase social and political instability. Where ever, there occur a lot of multiple sales, evictions, land grabbing etc, people lose confidence in the state and start mistrusting each other. Social and political stability suffers even more when land conflicts are accompanied by violence.
Dealing with land conflicts, Falade, therefore maintained that it should be a means to re-establish trust and confidence in public as well as private institutions.
Falade insisted that persons and governments who have interest on anything on their property must consult them adequately.