Residents of Pakoto community and its environs in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State yesterday barricaded the Abeokuta-Lagos expressway over the demolition of their houses.
The protesters, who caused gridlock on the ever busy road for almost two hours, made bonfires, while several irate youths, chanting anti-government songs, trooped out to protest against government’s insensitivity.
It, however, took the combined efforts of policemen from Ewekoro and Ifo area divisions, as well as men of the Nigerian Army to remove the barricade from the road.
Houses worth several millions of naira were allegedly demolished by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, who claimed ownership of the land.
It was gathered that the large expanse of land housing over 40 communities with over 5,000 homes, was acquired illegally by the occupants.
When journalists visited the affected community, victims of the demolition were seen sifting through the debris to pick their belongings, while two bulldozers were sighted carrying out demolition of more houses.
Armed policemen and soldiers were seen providing security for the demolition team.
Many of the victims who spoke with our correspondent claimed that they were unaware that the land had been acquired, adding they bought it from the Fabowale family.
Incidentally, the house of the Baale of the community, Ismail Oladipupo Fabowale, who was said to be on the run, was also pulled down.
Speaking in an emotion laden voice, one of the victims, Mr. Olumide Obakeye, who claimed that he spent over N6 million to erect his building, explained that he never knew that the land belonged to the federal government.
Obakeye, who disclosed that he relocated from Lagos State to Pakoto in 2013, chided the government for failing to listen to their pleas despite several meetings with representatives of LUTH and the state government.
According to him, almost everybody in the community had taken part in the Ogun State’s Home Owners’ Charter Scheme after an assurance from the state government that it would regularise everything.

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