By Albert Akpor
Kirikiri town, a sparsely populated community in Lagos which has become synonymous with the two prisons, (the Maximum and Medium prisons) situated therein has before now, remained a purely residential area.
Residents lived a communal life devoid of any form of rancor until industries started creeping in. Before long, the hitherto peaceful and quiet area has become a beehive of industrial and social activities as industrialists fell over themselves to possess a place to site their outfits.
Consequently, residents started enjoying external economies of scale as smaller shops soon sprang up side by side the bigger industries. Presently, Kirikiri town can boast of over ten different companies including oil and gas, cement and fishery companies.
The advent of these companies was seem by residents as a good omen as it did not only bring with it infrastructural development, it created employment for the teeming youths. With the employment generated, the rate of conduct disorder amongst the youth, the spate of crime and criminality nose-dived tremendously in the community.
But the seeming serenity that reigned supreme in this small town may soon be history if the present rancor and struggle for supremacy allegedly between a community leader who doubles as the estate manager and chief security officer of Mosheshe estate, Chief Babalola Shabi and Messrs Chris Onalo, Ike Osunde and Patrick Ume is not timely arrested.
Whereas, Chief Shabi has raised alarm alleging that the aforementioned persons were incubating plans to cause disaffection amongst residents by renaming Mosheshe estate as Creekview estate, building a security post on a drainage; an action if not nibed in the bud may lead to blowing off the tank farms, sources said the former has also accused the latter of unnecessary interference in their private affairs and highhandedness in the estate.
But expressing gratitude to the state government, NUPENG and DPR for approving the siting of oil companies and provision of infrastructural amenities and employment for the teeming youth even in the face of the brewing unrest, Chief Shabi vowed to resist an act capable of causing civil unrest in the community.
He said, “As far as I am concerned, what these people want to achieve is to hinder development in this community. They are threatening and making life unbearable for residents with their anti-people activities.
There was a time they made kerosine scarce in this community by preventing the oil company companies to work for almost one week. They have so constituted themselves into nuisance by changing Mosheshe estate to Creekview estate because the youth who are the immediate beneficiaries of the presence of the oil companies in this community are threatening to attack them because they (the youths) said they would resist any act that will reverse the employment and infrastructure they are enjoying presently.
Mosheshe estate is a registered name both in the local and state government offices Funny enough, the oil companies that they are now threatening are the first tenants in this estate.
That you bought a piece of land and built on it does not place you over and above the man that sold to you. When they wanted to build their houses, we advised that they build above road level to avoid flooding but that was ignored. To add to the sufferings of residents, they went and built a security post on the drainage. Now when it rains, everywhere is flooded.
You bought land on a particular estate name and you wake up one morning, just four of you; decided to change it to any name you wish, even without contacting the appropriate state government department like the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and of course, the man that sold the land to you.
Is this not an open invitation to chaos? If this continues, we would have not option that to go to court and revoke their certificate of occupancy. There was a time INDEX and TECHNO oil wanted to build road for the estate, these people stopped them for whatever reason. I think what they want is for their action to result to violent protest and the first target would be to blow up the tank farms. This is why we are crying out now.”
Already, representatives of the youths in the three Community Development Area, Mrs Winifred Cardoso, Messrs Sunday Jaugbomo and Odoji Popoola of CDA1, CDA2 and CDA3 respectively has vowed to resist the progressive mission of the named four persons adding that they have written strong worded petition to the state government, the IG of police, and the state commissioner of police to hint them before hand, on the attendant consequences of any attempt by those persons to cause problems in the community.