28th February, 2011
Landlords in Arowojobe Estate, Mende, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, South West Nigeria, over the weekend, objected to recent newspaper reports of a planned change of name of the sprawling estate.
Septuagenarian patron of Landlords Association, Engr. (Chief) Joshua Bamidele Daramola, leading a team of other landlords, told journalists over the weekend that changing the name amounts to tinkering with, or outright falsification of history.
Daramola, a one-time chairman of Yoruba Tennis Club and Chief Fiwajoye of Lagos State, said the position of the law is that tenants cannot lord it over their landlords. He affirmed that he bought his first plot of land from the Arowojobe family in the early 1960s and that this explains why the entire area, including the present estate they are trying to rename, has remained Arowojobe from the days of yore.
â€œIt is trite law that customary tenants cannot lord it over their landlords. The Supreme Court upheld this in the case of Onitire versus Ijeshatedo. These people that are now trying to rock the boat are just few disgruntled elements. Let them bring out the purchase receipt of their land, you will find out they purchased from the Arowojobe land owner family.
â€œThe question is, are they just waking up to the name? At my age, I will never support falsehood and illegality till I go back to meet my creator.
â€œI can tell you the history and development of this area. It was in 1978 that I brought in cables and poles for the electrification of this place. It was equally through my personal relationship with Gen. Oladipo Diya that the then government of Lagos State constructed the bridge linking Arowojobe with Mende.
â€œI was very close to the Arowojobe family, including the late Chief Imam of Ikeja Central Mosque, late Chief Imam Zurakat Arowojobe. There has also been series of victories won by the Arowojobe family.
â€œI am therefore at a loss and it is appalling that a few disgruntled people just woke up and are planning to rename the area. It is not possible,â€ Daramola said.
Asked what the next line of action will be if the so-called â€˜disgruntled elementsâ€™ carried out their plans, Daramola said he could not speak on behalf of the Arowojobe family, but as landlords, they will challenge the move.
â€œWe are law abiding citizens, we operate within the law and we know our rights. We shall challenge any untoward action,â€ Daramola said.