By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Residents of Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Ipaja, have appealed to Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Federal Ministry of Works to wade into disputed water tank land in the area.
The concerned residents explained that the over two plots of land that currently had the Water Tank facility, initiated during the administration of late President Shehu Shagari, was being protected and reserved for future community projects in the overall interest of residents.
One of the community leaders in the area, Mr. Adepoju Adewale, said their demand for a lasting solution to the ownership tussle was to end recurring face-off between residents and De Zenate Club which currently occupies part of the land.
Adewale lamented that the annual clashes caused over the ownership of the land in Shagari Estate took a new twist last year when some hoodlums orchestrated attacks and inflicted injuries on those who stood for justice on the land.
According to him, “the community about 25 years ago, gave some parts of the land to mechanics to use to avoid it being taken over by other people.
Adewale alleged that officials of the Ministry of Works and Housing allocated part of the land to De Zenate Club, after which the community later gave them more access to the land for access roads for close to 10 years.
The community leader added that De Zenate Club was now demanding for more access for link road at the detriment of the community.
Adewale also accused authorities at the Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area, LCDA, of supporting De Zenate club as well as some top politicians in the area.
He recalled that at a point, someone from the community wanted to buy the water tank land but the community protested and kicked against it.
Speaking further, Adewale explained that the water tank , though set up done since the government of the late Alhaji Shehu Shagari, had not worked for over 20 years.
In the past, he said the community filed a petition before the Lagos State Government under Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration,adding they were assigned a lawyer courtesy of the current Commissioner for Justice, Mr Lawal Pedro, who was then state counsel to pursue the case but without concrete verdict.
On its part, the Federal Housing Estate, according to Adewale, also promised last year to ensure that the land was not taken away from the community.
“As a law-abiding community, we seek your urgent intervention in this matter to prevent the impending communal clash, as any attempt to trespass on community water tank land will be resisted,” the residents pleaded.
In a swift reaction, the President of De Zenate Club, Mr Moruf Edun, said there was no truth in the allegation that the Club intended to take over the land from the community.
He, however, said that the community was fully aware of the club’s request for an access road to link the main road in the area.
On his part, the Secretary to Mosan Okunola LCDA, Ayo Omolade, explained that the council had no hand in what was going on at the Water Tank land.
According to him, there is no reason for any dispute in the land since it belongs to the Federal Ministry of Works, with a water tank facilitated by the Federal Housing Authority, FHA.