Residents of Satellite Town, Festac are losing sleep over activities of some hoodlums in a raging land controversy with land grabbers, popularly known as Omo-onile. Representing Luke Mamel, Sandfield, Daily Times, UBA, Kings, Mobil, Peter Menesi, Owolabi, Mobu, Agip and New Road estates, the community leaders have appealed to the state government to reign in the hoodlums and give the area some respite.
According to them, the hoodlums who invade their premises to cart away valuables, are reportedly being sponsored by the Olarinde Ajao Oluekun family of the traditional ruler, Oba Latifu Sadiku Olarinde, who is requesting that the residents repurchase their lands.
The Baale’s family took the matter to court earlier this year to ascertain their position as the rightful owners of the lands, which is adjudged to be a Federal Government acquisition area.
In a court brief presented to the residents, the Oluekun family had written to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, as well as Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Federation, urging the Federal Government to take necessary measures to their plea of ownership, else it will be settled in court.
While the matter is yet to be determined by the courts, residents of the various estates say they have been under siege of attacks by hoodlums reportedly arranged by the Oluekun family from Oshodi, Ikorodu, Mushin and Badagary parts of Lagos.
One of the residents said: “We are asking government to come to our rescue. No one can tell what will happen in the next 24 hours, we are living in fear at the moment. These people come with boys holding axe, cutlasses, others carrying bags filled with bottles and even guns shooting into the air.”
Another resident who pleaded anonymity said the traditional ruler had several times denied any connections to the attacks when invited by the police, “but his son, one Prince Yussuf has on different occasions led the hoodlums to the estates. They said they have backing from the government.”
But Oba Latifu Sadiku Olarinde, who spoke with The Guardian on phone, said all the allegations that the family is parading hoodlums to disrupt peace in the communities were untrue. He explained that the attacks were being carried out by a certain Cole family who he alleged documented the lands as their property. He said the land was earlier released by the Oluekun family to the Federal Government to build a naval base.
The monarch added that his son, who has been accused of arranging the hoodlums is innocent, saying he has only been helping residents maintain peace by canvassing well-meaning boys of the communities to mitigate attacks by hoodlums of the Cole family. “There is peace in the area. The youths are only resisting hoodlums from taking over their fathers’ lands,” he added.