Leave Our Land Alone, Residents Tell NPA

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Residents of the riverine communities in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Lagos state have alleged that they are being threatened with eviction from their land by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

According to Hon. Solomon Akojelo, Secretary of the Community Development Committee of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, “NPA said they have leased our land to AMG Petro Energy Limited, and they have several times threatened residents of the communities with eviction.

“We have five joint communities in the riverine area which are: Sagbokoji, Bishopkoji, Ganviekoji, Akoponawa and Whalakoji. Sagbokoji was the first community and was founded by a fisherman called Prince Sagbo in 1882 and nobody has ever given us a notice to leave. We have been living in peace until 2007 when AGM came with an unsigned notice that we should leave our land.”

Akolejo stated further that they wrote to Governor Babatunde Fashola who set up a committee, headed by Dr. Jagun from the Ministry of Education, to look into the matter. The Ministry of Rural Development also came into the issue and invited NPA but they refused to show up.

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“We didn’t hear from them again until this year when some women in the community found a court suit on the ground. They didn’t serve us the letter, nobody acknowledged it, but we read it and the described us as unknown people.”

The communities in the last few years have benefited from the democratically elected government of Lagos State government, the Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration, and the Comrade Ayodele Adewale led administration in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area.

The riverine communities have called on the Lagos State government and human rights bodies to come to their aid as over a hundred thousand people are about to lose their homes, properties and inheritance.

—Abimbola Obatayo