In search of solutions to menace of ‘Omo oniles’ in 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
Continued on next page