Scores of community leaders and residents of Agidingbi area of Ikeja on Thursday embarked on peaceful protest against the judgment of Supreme Court which awarded ownership of 398 acres of landed property in the community to a traditional land-owning family, Akinole-Oshiun.
The possession order is said to cover a large section of the Lateef Jakande Road, Acme Road, Fagba Close, and other streets around the area, totaling over 2000 buildings.
The protesters, who marched from Agidingbi to House of Assembly complex in Alausa, said Akinole-Oshiun family, which is the judgment-creditor in the case, had already given them seven days ultimatum to vacate their houses, urging the government to quickly intervene to avert bloodshed.
They displayed placard of various inscriptions such as “There is no ancestral link between Akinole and Agidingbi Land, Land Grabbers are enemies of Lagos State,” among others.
Leader of Ojodu Legislative Arm, Hon Wasiu Bolaji-Seidu who is also a community leader in Agidingbi said the news of the possession order came to the community as a big surprise as nobody from the area was served with the court process that led to the judgment.
He said: “On Friday, they (judgment-creditor) brought a judgment and placed it on our houses and said they have taken over the entire Agidingbi land. The issue is Agidingbi was not mentioned in the judgment; nobody from Agidingbi was part of the case and I don’t know how you will enforce a judgment against a person that was never part of the case.
“Agidingbi has been in existence for over 200 years ago. I was born and bred in Agidingbi; my forefathers were born and bred in Agidingbi and I don’t see any reason why somebody will just wake up and say they are the owner of the community.
“I am over 50 years; my father lived for over 90 years in this community before he died; my great grand-father died at the age of 150 years and I don’t know where Akinole is coming from and we have people like Habibatu Mogaji who was the Yeye-Oba of Agidingbi; we have Femi Okunnu who is our father in the community and we don’t know where Akin-ole came from.”
He particularly urged the State Government to activate the provisions of the Anti-Land Grabbing Law of the State, and prevent the matter from degenerating into a full blown crisis.
“To the best of my knowledge, I know that Lagos State has enacted a law duly signed by the Governor prohibiting land grabbing in the State because this is a clear example of such case. That is why we are here to call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to look into it and find a lasting solution, failure of which there will be bloodshed,” Bolaji-Seidu said.
Also speaking, Baale of Agidingbi, Chief Ganiyu Ayinde Haruna, said they were embarking on the peaceful protest to call the attention of government to the silent crisis that is brewing in the community.
Narrating how it all began, Haruna said: “On Friday last week, we woke up to see people posting possession order on our property and we don’t know these people. We have been living here for several years and the issue is we don’t know this family that is laying claim to ownership of our land.
“We have never heard any relationship with this Akinole family and so it is surprising to us. Nobody knew anything about the court case. I mean how can you enforce court judgment against a party that was never part of the case? We are peaceful people and we are urging the Lagos State Government especially Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the House of Assembly to intervene urgently in this matter because we don’t want bloodshed in our community.”
Also speaking, an 83-year old resident and Iyalode of Agidingbi, Evang Dorcas Faworaja said her great grand-parents were born in the area, therefore the claimant cannot just come from anywhere and lay claim to the community.
Receiving the protesters, Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon Olumuyiwa Jimoh commended them for conducting themselves peacefully, assuring that the House would look into their case.
“Let me assure you that we are going to look into your petition without any fear or favour and I can assure you also that you will receive judgment at the end of the day,” Jimoh said.
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EID-EL-KABIR: SANWO-OLU FELICITATES WITH MUSLIMS, CALLS FOR MODERATE CELEBRATIONS
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has rejoiced with Muslims across the country on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir festival, urging them to celebrate moderately in the wake of the rise in cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor also advised Nigerians, especially Muslims to imbibe the lessons of sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and work for the unity and progress of the nation.
Sanwo-Olu, in his Eid-el-Kabir message released on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, congratulated Muslims in Lagos and advised them to continue on the path of spirituality and peaceful co-existence.
He said Eid al-Adha became a symbolic event in the history of mankind, given the bountiful rewards that followed the patience and perseverance of Prophet Ibrahim, who held on tenaciously to his faith in God despite being afflicted.
Sanwo-Olu therefore urged Lagosians to draw lessons from the prophet’s examples by eschewing tendencies that could severe the unity and stability in the country.
“Today, I join millions of people around the world, to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters in Lagos State and in Nigeria happy Eid-el-Kabir, which comes with significant lessons for mankind. For the Muslims, today’s celebration is very unique.
“This symbolic Islamic festival is a reminder to us that, there will always be great rewards when we have abiding faith and patience in trying periods; persistence in prayers and tenacity in our belief.
“It also reminds us of the sacrifice we are expected to make not only for the purpose of spiritual fulfillment, but also for the progress of mankind and development of our society.
The governor also reminded Nigerians, especially Lagosians of the need to reflect on the new reality caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, saying it has altered the way we live, work and celebrate.
He said: “Traditionally, Eid-el-Kabir is marked with fanfare, where thousands of worshippers head to various designated praying grounds in their localities for special Eid prayer, followed by festive gatherings, visits to families and friends, gift exchanges, feasts among friends, neighbours and relations.
“However, these activities, which are a reflection of joy and happiness of the season, cannot hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us reflect on the last four to five months of our lives as individuals, as a state and as a nation. We should also remember our health care workers, and thousands of COVID-19 patients who would have loved to be at home to celebrate with us at this moment.”
Sanwo-Olu also advised Nigerians to support the government’s efforts in building a nation that would work for all, adding that the need to keep Nigeria on the path of development is a collective responsibility of all citizens.
“On behalf of my family and the Government of Lagos State, I wish all Muslims a happy and peaceful Eid al-Adha celebration,” he said.
PA FASANMI, A GREAT NATIONALIST, PASSIONATE LEADER-SANWO-OLU
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed sadness over the death of an elder statesman and leader of Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere, Senator Ayo Fasanmi whom he described as “a great Nationalist, passionate leader and humility personified.” He was aged 94.
Pa Fasanmi, also the leader of Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, died in the early hours of Thursday, after a brief illness.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the death of the nonagenarian came at a critical period when his wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom was most needed in Nigeria.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who also described the late Pa Fasanmi as a complete gentleman and selfless leader said he contributed immensely to the development of South West region in particular and the nation in general.
According to Mr Governor, “Pa Fasanmi, was an exemplary leader who spent the greater part of his life in the service of humanity, particularly the Yoruba course where he contributed to the development of the region.
Sanwo-Olu recalled, ” In the old Western Nigeria, Pa Fasanmi served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation.
“He was National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in 1977, elected into the Senate in 1979, and became a member of the House of Representatives in 1983.
He also served as a member of the National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1994.
“Pa Fasanmi was indeed an icon who will never be forgotten in history of Nigeria and the Yoruba race. He will surely be missed.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said that late Pa Fasanmi, who was an “Awoist” to the core, would be remembered for his words of wisdom in keeping Nigeria as one united entity.
The Governor added that Pa Fasanmi, had always been advocating to Yoruba leaders to forget their differences and close the ranks for the good of the Yoruba race and Nigeria as a whole.
According to the Governor, “the late Pa Fasanmi made the call in Lagos in his remark at the public presentation of the book: “Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency”, written by Professor Wale Adebanwi, an Associate Professor in African American and African Studies, University of California-Davis.
“According to the frontline politician and second republic senator, this is (then) the time for political differences that have existed among the Awoists and the entire Afenifere clan to be cleared.
“At this auspicious time in our country, it is good we are having an occasion like this which brings many of us (Awolowo Associates) together. The event of today suggests to me that we need to forget our differences.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the above statement among other great virtues are what the late Fasanmi stood for.
“On behalf of my family, the Lagos State Government and people of the state, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the immediate family members of the deceased; the government and people of Ekiti and Ondo States over the irreparable loss.
“May God give the departed soul eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Adieu Pa Fasanmi,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
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