By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Railway Property Management Company Limited (RPMCL) has refuted media reports alleging that Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) officials are taking steps to convert a piece of land already granted to Muslim community for use as prayer ground for the use of one Pastor Solomon.
RPMCL said that the issue in contention is between two temporary allottees on Railway land who have misunderstanding over boundaries.
It stated that efforts made to resolve the matter fell through.
“A piece of land measuring 20m2 was allocated to one Lateef Oriade on temporary permit in 2015. Another piece of land measuring 56m2 was allocated to one Bukola Solomon in 2016 and both allottees have been occupying the space since 2015 and 2016 respectively.
“In November 2021, one Imam and his son came and complained about an attempt by someone wanting to claim the land. The Area Manager in trying to resolve the issue went with the complainant to the said site. On getting to the site the manager discovered that the land in question was the one allocated to Lateef Oriade which the Imam claimed that the land was transferred to him even though there was no evidence to back that claim,” RPMCL narrated in a news release made available to the New Nigerian on Friday.
According to RPMCL, the Area Manager discovered that the space being occupied by the Imam is 372m2 as against the 20m2 on the letter of allocation to Lateef Oriade.
The Railway property management firm stated that the Imam claimed that the space allocated to them is 372m2 and the 56m2 allocated to Bukola Solomon.
RPMCL explained that the Area Manager further directed that both the Imam (representing Lateef Oriade) and Bukola Solomon should apply for the regularization of their allocation since the allocation in their possession is a temporary permit which both of them promised to occupy.
RPMCL said that instead of the disputants applying for the regularization, the Area Manager received a report that the two tenants continued their disagreement over the land.
“To this note”, RPMCL said, “the Area Manager gave both of them a six months revocation notice due to their refusal to reconcile and to comply with the directive to regularize their stay.”
In the statement titled, “Alleged Plan by NRC/RPMCL to Cause Religious Crisis in Osun,” Railway Property Management Company Ltd. said: “Our attention has been drawn to inciting reports by Sun News Online and several other social media platforms on Wednesday 6th April 2022 captioned “Muslim Group Raises Alarm over Alleged Plan by NRC to Cause Religious Crisis in Osun.
“The report alleged that ‘NRC officials are taking steps to convert a piece of land already granted to Muslim Community for use as a Muslim prayer ground for the use of one Pastor Solomon.’
“The Management of NRC/RPMCL wish to clarify the very grave allegations levelled against the officials and to bring to the notice of the general public that the social media reports did not in any way portray a true picture of the issue at hand.”
The NRC organization stressed that it made the clarifications to avoid doubts from any quarters.
It declared: “For the avoidance of doubt, we do not have any record of allocation to any Imam, Muslim Community or any Pastor, as such the claim to incite any religious crisis might be the handiwork of mischief makers. The good people of Osun State and indeed the general public should disregard any malicious claim to disrupt the peace in Osun State.”