Forlorn residents of Ijeododo community in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) on Tuesday besieged the Ijegun Bus Stop in their hundreds. It was not a protest march or agitation against bad roads and power outage; they had simply trooped out in their large numbers to receive the Lagos State government delegation from the Ministry of Physical Planning.
Residents of the area had been upbeat since January when the state government announced plans to construct a 19.39km road to link Ijegun, Ijeododo to Abule-Ado.
But they got the shock of their lives on August 27, when houses numbering over 300 were marked for demolition for being on the project’s Right of Way (RoW).
After some intense agitations and petition sent to the governor, the state government sent a visitation team from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) to look into the residents’ complaints and inspect the project site.
The residents had lamented that the road project was being taken out of the original Lagos State plan that had earlier been delineated with landmarks and which was far from the NNPC pipeline’s RoW also in the same area.
Receiving the government delegation in his palace, the Onijegun of Ijegun kingdom, Oba Nureni Alani Akinremi, urged the officials to be honest in the discharge of their assignment of inspecting the communities and the original places marked for the construction of the road.
He said: “The master plan had marked out a particular place for a road construction project. I, therefore, plead that, as representatives of government, you go to the archive and get the original plan for the road. It is not possible to cite a road on a pipeline or close to it. We all are aware of the past incidents of fire outbreak in Ijegun and that is why I urge for caution and sincerity. So, the original plan must be visited.
“Ensure you carry out your assignment without taking sides. Check out all the areas marked out with Lagos State government pillars and inspect them without fear.”
Leading the team into the community, Mr S.O. Aboderin, leader of representatives of Ijegun/Ijeododo residents, whose houses have been marked for the intended demolition, said the sharp practices of some land-grabbers to sell government acquired portions of land was putting the project in limbo.
“We urge the government to use the approved road marked in its master-plan, which is from Irede Street down to the canal linking Abule-Ado rather than use the road by the NNPC pipeline. Because NNPC is not permitting them to construct close to its pipelines, they have now moved some meters into the community to mark some buildings for demolition, deviating from the original plan and route.”
The inspection team promised they would carry out their assignment accordingly. They were taken round the community and shown the areas, which had the original landmarks of the state government. It was gathered that some properties had started springing up on the marked areas while hitherto roads are being carved out for building sites.