The entire community of Ifesowapo-Irewolede of Osin Okanji community in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State has cried out to the Federal Government over what they described as ' illegal acquisition of their landed properties and demolition of their buildings' for National Housing Project in Kwara State.
The community in an open letter signed by one Balogun Johnson, the Secretary of the community, seen by News Punch but directed to the Minister of Works, Power, and House, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, alleged that their community was invaded and houses are currently being demolished by a government agency for the purpose of the housing scheme.
The community was of the opinion that it was not against the Federal Government House scheme, but the illegal way and manner at which the Kwara State Government through the Bureau of Land is going about the matter.
The alleged that the acquisition of their land is devoid of due legal process as stipulated by the land acquisition act as amended.
Below is the Full Text of the Open Letter Sent to the FG:
AN OPEN LETTER TO HONOURABLE MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING, MR. BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN)
ILLEGAL ACQUISITION OF OUR LANDED PROPERTIES AND DEMOLITION OF OUR BUILDINGS FOR NATIONAL HOUSING PROJECT IN KWARA STATE
I write on behalf of the entire Ifesowapo-Irewolede of Osin Okanji community in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State to bring to your notice sir, the illegal acquisition and demolition of our buildings to pave way for the national housing scheme under your ministry.
As a law abiding citizens, we are not in any way against your vision of providing affordable housing to the Nigeria people through the national housing project. What we are against is the impunity with which the kwara state government through the DG of bureau of land is going about the whole matter. As a lawyer yourself sir, you are aware that the law stipulates the procedure through which land can be acquired under the land use act as amended.
We have been existing as a community for almost a decade only for us to notice to our surprise the movement of people who claimed to be agent of the government last year surveying our community, what followed was opening of road within our plots of land and just this year, 26th January 2017 to be precise, our buildings were marked for demolition. All efforts to seek clarification with the DG land bureau in Kwara state were rebuffed as he claimed the land had been acquired.
Up till now sir, there was no notice of acquisition to us not to talk of paying due compensation as required by law. As I write sir, the contractor handling the national housing project are currently on site, demolishing our fence and buildings.
In conclusion sir, it will be a great injustice to us as citizens of Nigeria for the government to demolish our houses and erect other residential houses on the same land. Will this act solve the housing shortage you are working hard to address?
May God give you wisdom for prompt intervention sir.
Secretary, Ifesowapo-Irewolede community, Osin Okanji, Kwara State
CC: Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Honourable minister of information and culture