Ikeja Saddle Club: A Call to save Lagos state’s equestrian and environmental treasure

The Ikeja Saddle Club, a cherished institution and a living testament to the rich cultural and environmental heritage of Lagos, is under imminent threat. Since its establishment in 1967, the club has been a haven for equestrian enthusiasts, a sanctuary for wildlife, and a place where families, particularly children, can develop a deep appreciation for animals.

On September 24, 2021, the club was unlawfully invaded by vandals, leading to the demolition of facilities. Despite legal ownership established in 1997, these attacks have continued, culminating in the devastating events of June 5, 2024, when invaders and vandals resumed demolition, leaving horses unfed and the community in disarray.

The Ikeja Saddle Club is not just a riding club; it is a sanctuary for wildlife and a guardian of our environment. It is a cornerstone of the Lagos community, contributing significantly to the local tourism ecosystem, attracting visitors and generating revenue for Lagos State.

The club’s role in environmental conservation is not to be underestimated. The Ikeja Saddle Club is a haven for a diverse range of wildlife and flora, making it an ecological oasis in the heart of Lagos. The destruction of this club would be a severe blow to our environment and community.

The club’s riding programs have also nurtured generations of equestrians, providing a safe and welcoming environment for children and adults to learn and grow. It is a place where passion for horses is ignited, and lifelong friendships are forged.

Speaking on the club’s value, Bukola Badejo-Okusanya, the President, said, “The Ikeja Saddle Club is more than just a riding club. It’s a community hub, an environmental haven, and a place where countless memories have been made. The destruction of our club would be an irreparable loss for Lagos and a devastating blow to Nigeria’s environmental conversation efforts. It would deprive the city of a unique cultural asset, harm the local economy, and jeopardize the well-being of countless animals.

We urgently call upon the public, our members, government officials, and all those who value our heritage to stand with us. Your support is crucial to ensuring our horses’ safety, our club’s survival, and the protection of a vital part of Lagos’s cultural and environmental legacy.

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