The Gateway Zone Community Development Association, Magodo G.R.A Phase 1, Lagos State, has decried the invasion of the estate by suspected land grabbers on Monday and Tuesday.
It was said that the invasion was to enable the men to gain access to the greenbelt located in a vast gorge separating Magodo GRA Phases 1 and 2, in the Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area of the state.
A security guard in the area, George Celestine, said no fewer than 15 suspected land grabbers stormed the estate, claiming that the gorge belonged to them.
He said, “When they came to the estate yesterday (Monday), the chairman instructed that we refuse them access, so the police came around to talk to them and they accompanied the police to the station. I thought that was the end of the situation only for them to resurface today.
“They claimed that they are the owners of the gorge and that we are preventing them from accessing their property. They said a traditional ruler in Magodo is a resident on the estate and that they don’t need to make any documentation before entering. It was at that point they started dragging with us.”
The association Chairman, Oyebode Ojomu, said despite a declaration by the state government that building on the gorge was illegal, the suspected land grabbers and their sponsors were bent on carrying out an illegal project.
He said, “Although the baale has a house on the estate, it was demolished by the Lagos State Government. But he is currently building a bungalow and that is where they are using as their launch pad to attack us.
“If the baale wants to have access to his property, he must have an undertaking with us that he will not bring these hooligans to harass us on the estate. Our take is that the security of our estate is important; anybody that wants to come to our estate must be a financial resident and must recognise that there is a CDA and follow the rules.
“The land grabbers are demanding access to the baale’s building to gain access into the estate to terrorise residents and gain access to the gorge that has been declared illegal for building. The police are not helping matters because they are acting compromised.”
The Central Chairman, Magodo G.R.A Phase 1 Residents Association, Atoyebi Oyeleke, also condemned the invasion.
He said, “We believe that the Lagos State Government always frowns on greenbelt being developed. We don’t want any trespassers in Gateway Zone and we can go to any length to fight it.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Environment has been invited, representatives of the Lands Bureau have been invited, among other agencies, and they instructed the land grabbers to let go because they are not in support of what they are doing.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “Some families want to have access to their land behind the estate and the estate residents are saying that there is no route for them in the estate except they pass another access road to their portion of land. The Isheri Division Police Officer is looking into the matter.”