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Mayhem In Ayobo: Residents Resist Demolition Of Seven Villages

Posted by By Jide Osokoya, Paul Sanusi & Tunde Lemuel on 2008/07/04 | Views: 2561 |

Mayhem In Ayobo: Residents Resist Demolition Of Seven Villages

But for the quick intervention of the Alayobo of Ayobo, Oba Idowu Ojo Ijo, the mayhem sparked by an attempt to demolish seven villages in Ayobo, a suburb of Lagos, yesterday, would have escalated.

But for the quick intervention of the Alayobo of Ayobo, Oba Idowu Ojo Ijo, the mayhem sparked by an attempt to demolish seven villages in Ayobo, a suburb of Lagos, yesterday, would have escalated.

Trouble started at arround 10 a.m., when a land speculator in the area, Arimieju Bello Ekundayo, led over 20 armed mobile policemen in six RRS vehicles, to enforce what he called a court judgement on the ownership of the land in the seven villages.

The land speculator, who also brought OPC members from Shasha, and bulldozers to commence demolition of the villages, was resisted by community leaders and youth in the villages who blocked all the roads leading to the villages. The youth made bonfires on the road and prevented unknown persons from entering the villages.

Also, battle-ready OPC members from the villages, wielding cutlasses and guns, frequently fired shots into the air to scare the intruders.

Chief Ekundayo, who said he owned the land in the villages by virtue of a judgement delivered by Justice O. A. Williams (Mrs.) of the Ikeja High Court on 29 October, 2004, was about moving his men into the villages when the Alayobo, Oba Ojo Ijo, and his chiefs confronted him.

Oba Ojo Ijo called for the head of the police team and consulted with him on the need to withdraw his men in order to avoid bloodshed.

The police officer heeded the warning of the Ayobo monarch and withdrew his men. Following this, the OPC men, lured by chief Ekundayo from Shasha, also withdrew and bloodshed was averted.

In a show of bravado aimed at sending a signal to the land speculator that they were ready to defend their property in Ayobo, dozens of OPC men in the area, wearing black masks and wielding dangerous weapons like axes and cutlasses marched round the area and assured residents that they were up to the task.

Some residents who spoke with P.M.News on the matter said they had already filed an appeal against the judgement and that hearing was fixed for today.

In a chat with P.M.News, the vice-chairman, Central Working Committee (CWC), Ayobo-Ipaja LCDA, Otunba Osifowora, revealed how such attempt by the same man led to the death of a landlord in the area, Alhaji Tiamiyu Ogbayi.

He alleged that Chief Ekundayo had once called all the landlords to pay N2 million each to buy the land, claiming that he bought the land in the seven villages in 1975.

"We are customary tenants of the Alayobo of Ayobo and his able Baales. We donít know this man. He appeared with judgement papers and said he was coming to demolish our houses.

"Can you imagine somebody so heartless, coming to demolish houses in about 80 streets? The villages are Alaja, Bada, Lala, Koloba, Atobaje, Akingbade and Alausa. You can imagine how many houses are in these villages, and some of us have been here for over 30 years," Otunba Osifowora disclosed.

In an interview with P.M.News, the Alayobo, Oba Ojo Ijo, said: "I am a direct descendant of Alori Asoja, the founder and first settler of Igbo- Ilogbo (now Ayobo) which comprises of all the villages involved, and those lands were not sold to anybody. I am still the bonafide custodian of the land. The judgement he is talking about is fraudulent and we have gone to court to challenge it".

"He took fake people to court and obtained judgment against them. He wrote a petition to Abuja and I was invited there. I met him in Abuja for the first time and told him to challenge me directly if he truly has any right over the land. Who are those who sold the land to him?" Oba Ojo Ijo asked.

The Ayobo monarch advised his subjects and other residents to be peaceful and go about their lawful duties, adding that nobody can destroy their property.

Comments (9)

Yesterday 18:45

The said Bello should be brought to book. This is modern day Nigeria. Any claim of such by a person or group of people should be considered as null. Omo oniles should go and find better work to do. My people will fight with the last pint of their blood to protect their properties. What a shameful act!


Yesterday 18:54

na waooo one person want to own the whole village

greed man you are.. please withdraw your plain for peace sake and police and forces

should nor bw after money pay, they also consider things before follow any threat.


Yesterday 19:04

The earth and all it contains belong to the ALMIGHTY GOD. The Man is a tresspasser and should be dealt with ruthlessly if he makes any move again.

omo Ekiti

Yesterday 19:13

This is ridiculous, How can someone buy off seven whole villages? from who? it is crazy
these sort of things have being going on around Lagos for a long time, a rich elite will simply identify
a neigbourhood of seemingly vulnerable people often illeterates and use the court systems to faudulently
secure judgements to take over theirís properties. This happened around Oniwaya area of agege years ago.

Most of the real Landlords at that place then were in their 80s and 90s, and they were mostly widows. Many any of them
have being in their houses before the land speculator that took them to court was born. Most of them were not even aware
of any court case let alone the proceedings. It is a simple rich manís 419. You identify a weak and vulnerable area, initiate
an ownership case or cases against them, organise fake respondents to the case using the addresses of the
Acient houses.
They appear in court to offer loosing and defeating testimonies which is the original plan anyway, so they loose and you get the
so called judgement and then role in to these old houses with your buuldozers. You donít need the houses anyway, you only want
the lands that are by then prime real estate in value. it is sad, inhumane but it is LAGOS NIGERIA. What do Guys think? Enquiring minds wanna know.

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