UPDATED: Oyo demolishes houses in Ibadan

Oyo State Government, on Wednesday, demolished scores of structures in Ibadan, the state capital.

The demolition, which began at Fashade community, on Tuesday, along Circular Road will affect about 12 villages in the Ona-Ara Local Government Area of the state.

The affected communities are Fashade; Aba Osho; Igbalefa; Adigbe; Badeku; Akamo; Alase; Ojoku; Dare; Isase; Oleke Meji as well as Ogido, all within the Local Government Area.

A community leader in one of the affected areas, Abdulfatal Amubikan, told our Correspondent, who visited the area, on Wednesday, that “about 500 houses had been demolished.”

“This exercise came to us as a surprise. The governor had, during our peaceful protest to the Secretariat in January, promised that our houses would not be demolished. I was privileged to speak on behalf of others when we went there. We told him about what was posted on our houses by the Ministry of Lands.

“And first, the governor promised that our houses would not be demolished, that we should go back to our various homes. Secondly, he promised to talk to the Commissioner for Lands and get back in three months. That we should just give him (Makinde) three months to work on it, but we should rest assured that the government will not demolish our houses. The government did not wait till three months (April) before it started demolishing our houses.

“We expected that three months to lapse by next month (April) to meet the governor again about his promise. He also promised that the government would compensate affected residents, and since yesterday (Tuesday) till today (Wednesday), about 500 houses have been demolished. And it is still an ongoing exercise”, he lamented.

Another victim, Usman Ikram, said, “I was not at home when the exercise began. It was one of our neighbours who called me that the government had started demolishing my house. It was a bad experience I never either prayed for or expected in my life. I was crying within myself. Though, I still thank God because He knows everything.

“This situation makes me realise that there is nothing in this life with the huge amount of money I committed to this project. I will still appeal to the government to rethink its decision because we don’t have anywhere to go.”

A 68-year-old widow, Omowumi Akintoye also appealed to the government and governor to help them, adding, “Since I moved here in 2016, nothing has been added. It is still a room I built that I’m still managing with my only child. I never had the opportunity to complete the whole house, because there is no money.”

Other residents, who spoke with PUNCH Online, include Abiodun Adeyemo; Sikiru Adebayo; Folake Balogun; Omolara Babalola; and Akinkunmi Jayeola, among others. They all appealed to Governor Makinde to come to their aid.

When contacted on the phone, however, the state Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Williams Akinfunmilayo, confirmed the ongoing demolition of structures built close to Circular Road.

He clarified that the government acquired 500 metres of space for the road project on both the right and left, adding that landlords with genuine documents would be compensated by the government.

Akinfunmilayo said, “I just enquired from the team that went there, and they said just a little over 50 were touched and some of the residents have even been removing the iron sheets before they got there. Nobody demolished 500 houses. And those buildings touched were ones about 100 to 150 metres from Circular road.

“Those who have genuine papers should come to the secretariat. The government will compensate them. What the government has acquired is 500 metres to the left and right. So, whoever is affected, with genuine papers, will be compensated”, the commissioner assured.

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