1st February, 2012
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday warned encroachers on its cantonment at Ojo, Lagos to vacate the premises fast or face the demolition of their structures.
The Head of the Demolition Team, Ojo Military Cantonment, Colonel Timothy Lagbaja, said in Lagos that many of the encroachers had refused to vacate the land, in spite of notices.
Lagbaja spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the army had demolished about 300 illegal buildings on the cantonment’s land since December, 2011 and had stopped to give more opportunities to encroachers to vacate willingly.
Lagbaja said that wilful vacation would avoid destruction of the encroachers’ belongings during demolition.
He regretted that encroached structures had overtaken the cantonment’s shooting range and had become a security threat.
“No structure should be erected 20ft away from the walls of the cantonment; this information is clearly displayed around the barracks,” Lagbaja said.
He told NAN that the army had since two years ago notified the encroachers of its intention to demolish their structures.
“We marked the houses that encroached into the army area, yet they wiped off the marks repeatedly,” he said.
He claimed that many encroachers were building houses on the land acquired for the Nigerian Army by the Ministry of Defence in 1974.
“The issue of returning part of the acquired land to the land owners came up when the army moved its shooting range to Owode in Ogun. “The Oju Agboroko family in Iba community then applied to the Ministry of Defence for the release of 46.36 hectares of land but the army extended the release to 48.36 hectares,” he said.
He said although the army ceded some portions of the land on compassionate grounds to the family of Prince Ademola Shonibare, also in Iba, there was the condition that the land must be fenced by the family.