By Bose Adelaja
Scores of residents of Eti-Osa East, Lagos Island, last week, took to the streets to protest an encroachment into a land meant for construction of the local government secretariat, by a yet-to-be identified individual.
The proposed site situated at Oshanmi Estate, along Lekki/Epe Expressway, which covers about one hectare, was said to have been acquired by the immediate past local government chairman, Mr. Isa Imam on behalf of the community.
The residents woke up to discover that a storey building had been erected on the land.
The protesters, who displayed placards with inscriptions such as: Say no to sales of our heritage, lamented that since the creation of the local council development area by the then administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the council was yet to get a permanent secretariat.
Faulting the encroachment, they called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to use his good offices to restore the land to its rightful owner and prosecute the suspect “since the community’s effort to fish him out has proved abortive.”
Going down memory lane, former Vice-Chairman of Etiosa Local Government, Mr Olaosebikan Esinlokun said the LCDA temporarily used Ajah Primary Health Care Centre as its secretariat which was later moved to another temporary site at Sangotedo Primary Health Care Centre but the immediate past Chairman acquired the permanent site which has been encroached upon by the suspect.
Corroborating Esinlokun’s position, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Apanpa and Professor Musibau Yekeen alleged that the encroachment was done in connivance with some unscrupulous elements in government vowing that “the community will leave no stone unturned to press home its demand as lack of a befitting secretariat has caused a setback to the growth of the LCDA.
The Vice-Chairman of the LCDA, Mr Biliaminu Agunbiade, who addressed the protesters at the temporary secretariat, commended them for conducting themselves in a peaceful way.
He, however, lamented that of the 57 local government and local council development areas, Eti Osa East is yet to have a permanent secretariat.
He assured the protesters that “justice will be done though the owner of the structure is yet to be fished out but work will commence on the site in February as the matter has been reported at our Legal department and the Ministry of Physical Planning for necessary action.”
When Vanguard visited the structure in question, it was under lock and key as the owner’s whereabouts could not be ascertained.