In search of so­lu­tions to men­ace of ‘Omo oniles’ in La­gos

Daily Trust - - EKO TRUST - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

Af­ter 20 years abroad, Taiwo Ade­bare(Not real names) de­cided to re­turn home to be­gin a new life and de­vel­oped his piece of land he bought in the sub­urb of La­gos few years ear­lier. He had con­sulted his ar­chi­tect to meet at the site on the fate­ful Mon­day morn­ing with a view to guide him on how to erect a be­fit­ting ed­i­fice for his sta­tus.

His plan was aborted by a cer­tain man who claimed that Ade­bare was not the right­ful owner of the land. At­tempts by Ade­bare to ad­vance con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ment to claim his prop­erty were re­buffed by the re­cal­ci­trant land grab­ber, who soon mo­bi­lized fierce look­ing area boys to chase Ade­bare away.

Ade­bare, who es­caped by whisker from the ram­pag­ing area boys, was dis­ori­ented and couldn’t re­turn to the site for some­time even when he was as­sured that some­thing con­crete would be done to re­claim his prop­erty.

But, Ade­bare should thank his stars from es­cap­ing the land grab­ber’s dag­ger. He was also lucky that he was not de­voured by these grab­bers, pop­u­larly called Omo Oniles in Yoruba par­lance, who have turned them­selves to Franken­stein Mon­sters un­leash­ing ter­ror on bonafide own­ers of landed prop­er­ties in the state.

For in­stance, one Eniola Kiyesola was hacked down by land grab­bers on Au­gust 18,2013,be­cause he re­fused to give the sum of N5000 de­manded by the ‘mon­sters’ as ‘set­tle­ment.’ He was beaten to coma by the ram­pag­ing land grab­bers and died on his way to hos­pi­tal.

Also, a sur­veyor, Femi Sekoni, was sent to his early grave on Septem­ber 28,2011 by a sus­pected land grab­ber, sim­ply iden­ti­fied as Sir K, one of the gang lead­ers of the land grab­bers, who de­scended on him and the Okada man that brought him to a con­struc­tion site.

He was re­port­edly beaten with ma­chete cuts on his head and body, and there­after, left in the pool of his blood. Though, po­lice­men re­port­edly ar­rived the scene and took him to Iko­rodu Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, he gave died be­fore help could come his way.

Suf­fice to say that the ac­tiv­i­ties of the land grab­bers in La­gos in re­cent times have se­ri­ous se­cu­rity and eco­nomic im­pli­ca­tions to the land. All ef­forts by se­cu­rity agents in the state to nip same in the ef­forts have hit a brick wall as these ‘mon­sters’ un­leash vi­o­lence on help­less ci­ti­zens and deny them their bonafide prop­er­ties.

Last year some res­i­dents of Oke Og­bodo com­mu­nity in Iko­rodu, stormed the premises of La­gos State House of As­sem­bly to protest the ac­tiv­i­ties of land grab­bers. The pro­test­ers car­ried

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