The Lagos State Government has told the alleged trespassers on the parcels of land belonging to the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, that it is already aware of the economic crisis in the country, and that its efforts to amicably resolve the matter is in recognition of that fact and not to complicate their woes.
Delivering this message, the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, explained that the amicable resolution was in recognition of the contributions of the people towards bringing on board the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and that if not, the state would have strictly applied the law.
Adebule, who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting with the representatives of the affected communities, promised that government will ensure openness and transparency in handling the regularisation exercise.
She noted that affected land amounts to 682 hectares, saying if the state was not to considerate, many houses would have been demolished and families rendered homeless.
She said; “The Governor has set up this amicable resolution mechanism because he is aware that you are the ones who voted for him. In truth, the lands here are under acquisition and by the Constitution they belong to the Government.
“However, we will have to regularize and give you papers or else your properties are worthless. Therefore, all guidelines that will be released after this meeting should be followed .We also wish to reiterate that there is no wish to add to your burdens, rather, we want to follow due process on the regularisation process.”
Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, the traditional ruler of Igbo-Elerin Community, Chief Taofeek Aina pleaded with the government to reduce the charges and allow them pay directly to government and not to LASU.
He said; “We all know that fingers are not equal and the country is currently passing through a lot of economic challenges. And since we do not want to aggravate our suffering, we are calling on the government to reconsider some of its decisions especially in the areas of the fees.
“And on the issue of making us tenants to LASU, we will appeal that we relate directly with the state government and not to LASU. We also do not want to be charged based on the structures on the acquired land but on the parcels of land acquired.”
Chief Aina also added that the decision to demolish some part of the land had caused many of the affected building owners emotional trauma.
Based on the rumour that the university management would demolish about 2,471 houses, Aina said those likely to be affected are already “close to their graves.” “We, therefore urge the government to reverse this as my people are ready to repurchase the land from government.”
Earlier in his opening remark, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said peaceful resolution of the issue was the target of the university and the government by extension.
He said; “We are not here to fight but to solve the issues amicably.”
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh explained that the governor has issued directive that the matter be resolved amicably and that all the concerns raised by the people would also be reported to the governor.
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