Just as the dust of the recent crisis at Magodo Phase 2 is trying to settle down, it seems the Nigerian police is at its game again in another area of Magodo.
This time it is at Magodo GRA Phase 1, Gateway Zone where some negative elements within the police force are actively backing Mr. Jamiu Oloto and Mr. Ola Oladugba to take over parts of the estate under the guise of illegal road construction.
In the words of Ayo Fasugba, the chairman of the Magodo GRA Phase 1 Gateway Zone Community Development Association (CDA), ‘This should have ordinarily been an issue between the land grabbers and the government because their target is a huge gorge or marshland (wetland), that has been declared inhabitable by environmentalists, but it is an irony that we are now the ones confronting a very vicious group that seems to have the active support of some top law-enforcement officers,’
Magodo Phase 1, Gateway Zone, in Lagos State has always enjoyed remarkable tranquility and good security until a group of land grabbers generally referred to as ‘Omonile’ started invading and infiltrating the Estate under the guise that they need another access road to a wetland space they claim they want to sell or develop. Their attraction for access through Gateway Zone is due to the level of infrastructural developments championed by the CDA.
Residents of the estate claim that sometimes, these illegal land grabbers storm the estate with law enforcement police officers in uniform.
The attention of relevant Government parastatals had been drawn to the issue after several invasions from the Land Grabbers. Despite several letters from various state government agencies affirming the right of the estate, the threats and attacks had persisted.
One of the most violent attempts took place a few months ago, in November 2021 when the suspected Land Grabbers led by Mr. Jamiu Oloto and Mr. Ola Oladugba, with deception and impersonation forcefully gained access into the Estate.
They also brought an Excavator-Bulldozer into the estate. They moved the equipment to the perimeter fence at the end of Ayo Fasugba Road, the major road on the estate, and demolished the walls at that point, claiming that the part demolished was the access or road to the gorge where the plots of land they want to develop are located.
All efforts to stop them from further demolition by the Residents available proved abortive as a mammoth crowd of hoodlums, numbering over 30, came in through the gorge and started chasing residents with different harmful weapons, like knives, cutlasses, daggers, axes, evil bracelets, and charms.
It was the prompt intervention of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that salvaged the situation while the excavator operator and one of the leaders of suspected Land Grabbers were arrested as others took to their heels.
Shockingly, the dispersed hoodlums later re-grouped in the evening to challenge the security persons positioned to protect the porous border. The hoodlums were quite boastful, claiming that they have the support of a certain Deputy-Inspector General of Police and the Lagos State Assembly, so no one can stop their illegal exploits.
Petitions have been written to the Commissioner of Police, NTDA, Lands, and other Government Agencies to register the unlawful act of willful damage by Land Grabbers who invaded the Estate.
According to Ayo Fasugba, the CDA Chairman, ‘It is so worrisome and the situation and apprehension are so heightened that our residents are now very uncomfortable about these criminal elements next moves.
‘We just hope the Inspector-General will call all his men to order on this issue to absolve the police of any complicity. We want the perpetrators of the dastardly act to be arrested and prosecuted by the Nigeria Police Force and we are seeking Police protection while we make efforts to rebuild the segment of our fence that was demolished by the hoodlums’.