Four years after Governor Ibikunle Amosun trooped out equipment to expand and dualise Akute-Sango road, it was welcomed with jubilations among residents of that area who believed development had finally come to them.
Long long after this, the demolition started and to allay the fears of the landlords who are affected by the demolition, Amosun promised to compensate them the promise that was not fulfilled until he vacated Office this year.
However, aggrieved landlords on the Lagos border areas of Ogun State, who are still awaiting compensation four years after the demolition of their buildings, saturday expressed the hope that the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun would give them justice.
The landlords, who spoke under the aegis of Yakoyo-Odozi-Ojodu landlords Association in Ifo South Local Council Development Area, had last year filed a suit against the administration of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun before an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta, demanding full compensations.
But the court in its recent sitting, acceded to the wish of the parties involved to seek an out-of-court settlement.
The president of the landlords association, Prof. Olakunle Macaulay, said the last administration was not forthcoming on negotiations with the landlords.
He, however, noted, “We won’t stampede Governor Abiodun; we will wait for him to form his cabinet and let those put in charge discuss with us before deciding on whether to return to court or not.”
Only recently, a leader of Yakoyo-Odozi-Ojodu landlords Association, Prince Jimoh Oshinubu, had valued properties brought down by the government’s bulldozers in the area at over half a billion naira, lamenting that “not a dime has been received so far, after so many entreaties to the then Governor Amosun, and other government officials.”
Oshinubi said apart from those who lost their buildings some four years ago at the inception of the road construction projects, not a few of the landlords and other residents were rendered homeless two years ago, when government, without notice, also descended on more structures.
Lamenting the plight of the landlords, Oshinubi, who was also affected, said, “The state government failed to fulfill its promise of compensating persons whose properties were demolished between 2014 and 2015 when the ambitious project that runs through Ojodu, Odozi, Akute, Giwa, Okearo and Sango began. ”Nobody is against development; nobody is saying the road should not be constructed. But we are human beings for God’s sake and we should be treated as such,” he complained.
But justifying why it embarked on massive demolition of buildings along the stretch, the Ogun State Government had then said it was inevitable if development was to come the way of an increasing population of its citizenry.
It, however noted way back in 2012 at the beginning of phased demolition of buildings in the state, that it had anticipated paying about N10 billion as compensation to affected property owners, eventually.
The then Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, at the period, disclosed that the state government had paid over N4 billion as compensation to people whose buildings were demolished, to pave the way for its various road construction works.
Adegbite said that out about N8bn budgeted for compensation, homeowners in the Sango and Ojodu areas of the state would get the lion share of between N4bn and N5bn, since many modern buildings were demolished in the areas, to allow for right of way.