.Orders encroachers on LASU land to regularize papers or face sanctions
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State,yesterday, commissioned a recreational park in Shasha, Alimosho Local Government Area in honour of late Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, a former deputy Governor of Lagos State, as part of measure to immortalize him for contributions to the development of the state and the area.
Jafojo, was a foremost Awori son, who together with The then Governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, executed people’s oriented programmes to the admiration of residents.
Ambode, represented by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, explained that the honour was indeed a worthy course which further justified the administration’s commitment towards recognising past heroes who laboured to make Lagos the destination of first choice among the States of the Federation.
The dream and desire to transform Lagos into Africa’s smart and industrial haven where individual economic and social aspirations can be met, is one of the cardinal policies of this administration. To the glory of Almighty God, I am happy to note that this is being fulfilled today.
Ambode stated,”This recreational park, christened Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo Recreational Park is one of such parks and this is to be dedicated to the recreational activities of the Awori community and the adjoining towns.
“Just yesterday, this administration commissioned the JJT Park in Alausa, Ikeja, in honour of three of our past governors who laid the foundation of what Lagos is today. Rtd. Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were some of our past heroes whose name were immortalised with the JJT Park.
“In order to achieve the Lagos of our dream, we therefore embarked on massive landscaping and greening projects, as well as establishment of more recreational parks and gardens with the ultimate desire to establish parks and gardens in all the 57 LGs and LCDA’s of the state.”
The governor reiterated the importance of recreational parks to general wellbeing to include: An arena where citizens can make the best use of their leisure, supports physical activities for health, provides therapy for attention deficit disorder and above all as well as intensifies the fight against climate change.
Ambode added that the park would add value to and improve the lives of beneficiaries. “I am also sure that it will bring improvement to communities in Alimoso and its environs, particularly the children and the elderly who reside in this locality.”
Encroachers on LASU land
In another development, Ambode has approved the land regulation exercise for all the landed property owned by the Lagos State University (LASU) that have encroached upon by illegal occupants.
Speaking through the Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, at a stakeholders’ meeting with leaders of community development associations and other key stakeholders in the communit, urged all the illegal property owners and encroachers on the land to regularize such properties with the Institution and assume the position of legal occupants as tenants with the University.
The governor, also urged affected illegal occupants to take advantage of the State Government magnanimity and regularize their title deeds on the said land.
He explained that the decision to have them regularize their properties was informed by the resolve to follow the path of peace with the community members.
He also urged the community members to cooperate with the state government to make the regularization exercise realizable and the entire process seamless stressing that the move was not one of such initiatives that would be thwarted along the way.
He noted that Government’s intention is not to demolish but regularize majority of the properties that have been illegally encroached upon stressing that the level of encroachment at the Ojo campus of LASU is approximately 75 per cent, a situation that he said is hindering the development of the Institution.
His words, ‘The level of encroachment has restricted further expansion and development of new programmes in the University which has impeded the goal of being a first class University of the founders’ dream. Generally, over 80% of LASU land measuring over 700 HA had been acquired by settlers illegally leaving an estimated 160 HA for LASU development which is grossly inadequate. Moreover, there is a compelling reason to reclaim the encroached land particularly now that LASU is now a residential University.”
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the move was in line with the promise made by the Governor during the electioneering period that his administration will not inflict unnecessary hardship on the citizenry but will instead follow the path of peace in addressing infractions.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Wasiu Anifowoshe described the gesture by the state government as a rare opportunity as the encroachers, under the new arrangement, will not be subjected to the payment of the regular fees charged for acquiring necessary building permit.
He said that the state government has reduced the regularization process drastically in order to make it very easy for the occupants of the encroached lands.