It has come to light now in my family’s immediate vicinity, that a group has sprung up like a weed from concrete. They claim that they are the “true owners” of the land upon which thousands have legitimately built homes, schools, churches, mosques, petrol stations, a plethora of businesses and clinics; over a period of more than thirty years. They claim that they own the thousands of acres and that they were sold illegitimately.
These unscrupulous people went ahead to obtain a “court judgment” and began their reign of terror upon the unsuspecting residents of the Soka area/ New Felele (Oluyole region) in Ibadan, Oyo State. They came with armed policemen, local thugs (area boys) and diabolical charms. They also brought bulldozers with which they broke down people’s walls and padlocked (chained) several homes. Inconsiderate of whether there were people still inside or not.
Several people fled their homes for fear of what would be their fate if they were to be met by these bandits. Others came home from a hard day of work to see their homes locked and the words sprayed on their walls “POSSESSION ORDER TAKEN BY HIGH COURT”
They have ensued to harass the residents of these areas by parading their vehicles, flaunting their guns with live ammunition, blocking roads and making threats. They have allegedly said that if they were to see any lights on when they came back at night they would attack the residents.
The psychological trauma has caused a resident to lose his life and others immense emotional strain. The fear in the community is palpable.
The people that sold the land to the residents are still alive. Hence, if in any case the land was sold by illegitimate contractors, (which it wasn’t) the case should be settled between those two parties and the Landlords should be left out of it altogether.
The residents have taken the case to the palace of His majesty The Olubadan of Ibadan and the office of the Governor of Oyo State. All to no avail, apparently those that went, were told that they should “settle them” which basically infers that they pay a bribe in order to be left alone. The invaders have made public their demands. They have ordered every landlord to pay a sum of N200,000 for every plot of land that they own. Which is absolutely absurd considering several of these residents earn below minimum wage and can barely boast of N10,000 in their bank accounts!
My family, and the rest of the families in my estate deserve justice. This has gone on for long and we’ve been trying to tackle it the best we can but today’s violence has crossed the line. Our very own compound was invaded by these savages!
This is the voice of the voiceless. We need the Federal Government of this country or anyone with compassion to come to the aid of the residents of this area and to bring justice, true justice to this matter.
We are appealing to the conscience of every living soul both within and outside the borders of Nigeria to come to our aid. Please remember that just as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
It may be your street tomorrow, or your mother’s, or your children’s. Let’s fight this cancer of corruption together. In God we trust.
We know there are still some knowledgeable people out there; those whose integrity can not be bought, God can use them to bring sanity into our system in our state and in Nigeria at large.