By IFEOMA IKEM
A 75 year-old visually impaired, Pa. Alade Irawo, owner of one of the houses demolished in Mosafejo community, in Ikeja Local Government area of Lagos State, has appealed to the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to return his land and rebuild for him.
The septuagenarian said that since his house was demolished about a month ago, he is yet to have a place to lay his head and has been living at the mercy of Nigerians.
Pa. Irawo who claimed to have been living in the demolished community since 1940, expressed dismay on the action of Governor Ambode by sending them packing from their land of inheritance.
The septuagenarian explained: “I have been living in Mosafejo community since 1940s without any problem, but we were surprised that Governor Ambode can now demolish our houses after given seven days’ notice.
“We are good citizens of this state, we pay our land use charge and any other money demanded by the government. During election, the All Progressive Congress (APC) came to us and begged to vote for them and we did, but what we have in return is to have our houses demolished without alternative.
“Since my house was demolished, I now resort to minor job my age can tolerate to raise money to rent even one room apartment. I having been wearing only one cloth, since all my properties were destroyed during the demolition; and I have been sleeping outside while surviving at the mercy of good Nigerians.
“I call on Governor Ambode to take a second look at our plight and return our lands back to us, or he should relocate us to another place”.
Another victim of the demolition, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ezeifechkwa Clement, also called on the state government to return their land as well.
The retired ACP said all he laboured for during his service in Nigerian Police, has been destroyed with the demolition of his houses in this area. I have my C of O and other title documents.
All we are calling for is for the community to be restored and property returned to the original owners.
Also joining in appeal for the resettlement of the victims three human rights group namely: Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, (HURMA), Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), and African Youth Coalition Against Injustice and Impunity, (AYCAII), also appealed to the Lagos state government to resettle the victims of demolition back to their land.
Comrade Buna Isiak, the National Coordinator of HURMA said: “We are here to appeal to governor Ambode to have mercy on the victims of the demolition. They are not illegal residents, the government should do something about their plight, one of them, Pa. George Taylor, died recently as a result of the demolition.
“They are landlords and their houses were pull down with seven days’ notice, that is unfair, they have the right time live and owns property but since the government has rendered them homeless, we call on the government to return the land back to them or give them another place they can call home.”