Nigerian Soldiers Invade Community, Mark Houses For Demolition in Ibadan | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

30.10.17

Nigerian Soldiers Invade Community, Mark Houses For Demolition in Ibadan

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Nigerian soldiers
 
The many residents of Mesiogo Estate in Akobo area of Ibadan now live in a state of uncertainty after their houses were marked for demolition by soldiers from the 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Punch Metro reports.
 
The landlords said last week, the soldiers informed them that the land on which the estate was located fell directly within the military barracks’ boundaries.
 
According to Punch Metro, the residents said they were told that their buildings encroached on military land and that they must pay a fine or the houses would be demolished.
 
Spokesman for the community, Amos Ishola, said the estate was one of the private estates built by former Oyo State governor, the late Kolapo Ishola, and that there were documents that clearly showed that the community did not encroach on military land.
 
He said, “The late Chief Ishola was a land surveyor and he bought many parcels of lands on which he built residential estates. Mesiogo Estate is one of them. Many of his family members were given land on which they built their houses in the estate.

“The problem is that the military at the Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment said some people encroached on their land and that those communities have been identified since 2010.”
 
The landlords said eight communities were involved and that they have been discussing with the soldiers through the late Chief Ishola before his death. Amos asked late Kolapo Ishola’s son, Kunle, to look into the matter.

“What we learned recently is that the Ministry of Defence set up a ministerial committee to look into the matter and re-establish the military boundary.

“The committee was asked to fence the intruders out and asked to pay penalties of various sums, depending on the size of their land.”
 
Amos said they were surprised that the Mesiogo community, which hitherto was not among the eight communities that had allegedly encroached on military land, was included in the intruders’ list.
 
The Nation, after visiting the community, observed that all the 49 houses in the community have been marked for demolition.
 
He added that the army refused to grant them audience despite several efforts to establish a relationship to discuss the issue.
 
When contacted, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations at the cantonment, Col. Ezinma Idima, insisted that the estate was built on military land.

“The community is one of the communities that encroached on military land. Over the years, we have been making efforts to reclaim it.

“A ministerial committee was put in place in 2010 which recommended that for the sake of being good to our neighbours, the land should be left for them, but they have to pay for it. The money will be used to demarcate the army barracks from the communities.

“They know that they encroached on the Army land, including Mesiogo Estate. We are only trying to be sympathetic with them,” said Idima.
 
When contacted for clarification over the boundary crisis, the state Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ajiboye Omodewu, said the community had not written a letter to the ministry seeking clarification over their boundary.
 
However, Amos Ishola said the ministry had sent their officers to assess the area physically after a letter was written to them through the community lawyer and that on Monday, landlords in the community met the surveyor general in the state, who told them that they had almost completed the verification, with the promise that the documents would be given to the community this week.

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