Displaced Residents Petition Lagos Speaker, Allege LG Boss, Monarch Of Complicity

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.

No fewer than 1,000 residents of Ifesowapo, Ifeoluwa and Toluwani communities in Otto Mainland Council Area of Lagos have been rendered homeless in the ongoing demolition exercise in the area by agents of the state government, New Nigerian Newspapers has learnt.

Consequently,  the affected residents have petitioned the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, alleging the Executive Chairman of the Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Rashidat Omolola Essien, and the Oloto of Otto, Oba Bashir Abisoye Odesanya of being responsible for the demolition exercise.

It was alleged that operatives of the Lagos State Building Control Agency accompanied by some thugs  stormed the community with bulldozers, hammers and other destructive items beginning on Saturday and have demolished over 100 houses, including worship places as at time of filing the story.

Some of the houses were said to have been set ablaze in the ongoing exercise, even as the operation moves to Otumara, an adjacent community soon.

In a petition addressed to the  Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, titled ” PETITION TO SUMMON HON. RASHIDAT OMOLOLA ESSIEN AND OBA BASHIR ABISOYE ODESANYA REGARDING ONGOING DEMOLITION AND ARSON CASE IN IFESOWAPO,IFEOLUWA,AND TOLUWANI CDA”, the evictees described the demolition exercise as unlawful and acts of arson which has resulted in displacement of innocent residents.

According to the petition signed by Babatunde David, Agbodemu Ishola and six others, the victims said the exercise was carried out in total disregard for law and order and has caused immense distress to them.

They therefore implored the Lagos State House of Assembly to exercise its oversight function and summon Honorable Rashidat Omolola Essien and Oba Bashir Abisoye Odesanya to appear before the Assembly to explain their position and actions regarding the ongoing demolition and arson case.

The petitioners expressed the trust that the Assembly will give due consideration to the petition and take appropriate action to address the concerns raised.

It reads, ” We, the undersigned concerned citizens and residents of Lagos State, write to bring to your attention the urgent matter of the ongoing demolition and arson case in Ifesowapo, Ifeoluwa,and,Toluwani CDA which has resulted in a total disregard for law and order and has caused immense distress to the affected residents.

” It has come to our attention that the Ifesowapo Community, located within the jurisdiction of the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, has been subjected to a series of unlawful demolitions and acts of arson, resulting in the destruction of property and displacement of innocent residents. These actions have been carried out with apparent impunity, and there has been a shocking lack of accountability on the part of the authorities responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the community.

” We believe that both the Executive Chairman of the Lagos Mainland Local Government, Honorable Rashidat Omolola Essien, and the Oloto of Otto, Oba Bashir Abisoye Odesanya, bear a significant responsibility in this matter, whether through acts of commission or omission. As elected representatives and custodians of the public trust, they owe it to the people of Lagos State to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of all citizens, regardless of their status or affiliation

” Therefore, we respectfully petition the Lagos State House of Assembly to exercise its oversight function and summon Honorable Rashidat Omolola Essien and Oba Bashir Abisoye Odesanya to appear before the Assembly to explain their position and actions regarding the ongoing demolition and arson case in Ifesowapo, Toluwani and Ifeoluwa CDA. Specifically, we request that they provide answers to the following questions.”

In addition, they urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to query the Mainland Local Government Council boss and the monarch on the roles played in the aforementioned incident.

They itemized the questions to include, “What measures, if any, were taken by the Lagos Mainland Local Government to prevent the unlawful demolitions and acts of arson in Ifesowapo , Ifeoluwa, and Toluwani CDA

” What role, if any, did the Oloto of Otto play in instigating or facilitating the aforementioned actions?

“What steps will be taken to hold accountable those responsible for the destruction of property and displacement of residents in Ifesowapo ,Ifeoluwa, and Toluwani CDA?

“What plans are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected residents and to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future?

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