Land grabbing activities have become a nightmare giving landlords and other property owners sleepless nights in all the three senatorial districts in Ogun State.
On Wednesday, about 10 communities in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State stormed the Okemosan office of Governor Dapo Abiodun, appealing to him to save them from the menace of hoodlums suspected to be land grabbers who they said had invaded their communities to grab their lands.
Armed with placards bearing various inscriptions, the protesters from Sagamu and Makun towns in the local government, claimed the hoodlums who have been unleashing terror on the communities in the last five years, were allegedly led by one Kamorudeen Lamina, also known as ‘Sir K Oluwo’.
Addressing newsmen, the spokesperson of the affected communities, Navy Captain Ade Sonubi (retd.) said the communities -Makun, Ewuoje, Ewulisa, Panuyi, Amitiku, Igbodorigi, Erelu, Dugbe, Ewulosi, Ijamade, had been under siege of the land grabbers, who, according to him, have been forcefully taking over their lands and selling to developers.
He said leader of the hoodlums, with the backing of a serving senator in Lagos and alleged connivance of security agents, had been able to seize hectares of lands from their owners.
Sonubi said despite several petitions written by the affected communities to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) office and the eventual intervention by the IGP monitoring team, the hoodlums activities had continued unabated.
He called on the state governor to intervene in the matter and rescue the communities from the menace of the ‘invaders’.
Similarly, 15 communities at Magboro in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State thronged the Ogun State House of Assembly complex last week, to appeal to the state legislators and Governor Dapo Abiodun to help them retrieve their properties from suspected land grabbers.
The protesting landlords, who said they have built their houses since over 20 years ago, lamented that the Ogun State Anti-Land grabbing laws have been of no effect in putting an end to the incessant attacks of land grabbers on their victims.
They said they were surprised to see some suspected land grabbers invade the area when many of them had gone to work, sealed some homes with “court possession notices” and outrightly “locked others with padlocks and chains.”
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Mr Jimi Olusanya, narrated their ordeals to the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Kunle Oluomo, saying the suspected land grabbers allegedly engaged thugs and some police officers from the Ibafo Divisional Police Headquarters to harass and intimidate them, injuring many in the process.
Olusanya appealed to the Ogun Assembly and Gov Abiodun to intervene and help them recover their properties by invoking the anti – land grabbing laws of Ogun State against the suspected landgrabbers.
Also being battled with land grabbers are residents of Ikogbo in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government who have also stormed the Assembly Complex same time, lamenting attacks and harassment by land grabbers.
They also displayed pictures of wounded victims and structures demolished by the attackers.
Led by the duo of Ade Animashaun and Akindele Abiodun, the Ikogbo residents appealed to the state lawmakers to save them from the suspected land grabbers.
But the state government has promised to put an end to land grabbing activities in Ogun by amending the Anti-Land grabbing Law of Ogun State.
Addressing the protesters, Chief of Staff to the governor, Shuaib Salisu, promised that government would look into the issue and address it accordingly.
He said the Abiodun-led administration would not allow land grabbing activities or any other form of criminality to thrive in the state and appealed for calm, reiterating prompt action will be taken by the government on the issue.
Likewise, Speaker Kunle Oluomo also assured the affected house owners that the Ogun Assembly, “will do the needful” to address their problems.