By Bose Adelaja
Residents of Mowonla in Ikorodu area of Lagos State have appealed to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and the State Commissioner of Police Edgal Imohimi, to rescue them from the hand of some suspected land grabbers, who have been terrorizing the town since 2013.
The residents claimed the suspected land grabbers struck in 2013 leaving scores of people, including women and children, injured.
The land grabers also allegedly demolished several structures while two Policemen were declared missing.
The aftermath of the violence left the community deserted for few years until the youths of the community took the bull by the horn by brokering peace.
Vanguard had reported in 2013 the invasion of some suspected land grabbers which resulted into people deserting the community as some of the landlords sold their properties while those who could not, ran for their dear lives.
According to the report, an octogenarian Madam Suwebat Manmeke was brutalized when she stumbled into the group of suspected land grabbers as she was trying to sneak her way out of the community.
For the sake of peace, the Nigeria Police situated a Police post in the community, yet, this could not end oppression of the land grabbers.
Vanguard gathered that despite the Police presence, the suspected land grabbers have illegally possessed the land thereby imposing various levies on prospective buyers.
However, some youths of the community who were in exile, recently came together on the pronouncement of Lagos State Government Land Grabbing Law, seeking for government intervention on their situation by bringing succour to them.
A resident Mr Godwin Anozie said the suspected land grabbers have been threatening people through telephone calls.
Anozie lamented: ‘’My sister, many of us can no longer sleep with our eyes closed because the suspected land grabbers have been threatening people with phone calls and they may strike any moment from now.’’
Another resident, Mr Odumade Razak said the land grabbers have imposed various levies on innocent residents.
He said, ‘’they impose levy such as N100,000 for foundation levy, N100,000 for roofing levy, N100,000 for abandoned project and N100,000 for lintel levy, to mention but a few.”
Vanguard findings revealed that before the 2013 mayhem, the suspected land grabbers capitalized on the disunity amongst the elders of the land, to forcefully terrorise residents, chased them out of the community and illegally took possession of the land and have been in control of the land since then.
Sequel to the Land Grabbing Law of the state government, the youths who realized their parents’ mistakes, came together to broker peace.
The Olootu of Mowonla, Chief Olatunji Ogundimu lamented that “land grabbers have taken over our community since 2013 but we don’t want to take the law into our hands again. The government should help us.”
As at the time of this report, residents are still living in the fear of being victimized or terrorized further.