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Magodo residents raise the alarm over ‘plot to convert’ flood-prone area to an estate

Magodo residents raise the alarm over ‘plot to convert’ flood-prone area to an estate
February 10
20:51 2020
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The Community Development Association of the Gateway Zone Estate, Magodo, GRA Phase 1, Isheri, Lagos state, has raised the alarm over the alleged plot to convert a green belt in the area to a residential estate.

In a statement by Oyebode Ojomo and Tony Ebinum, chairman and secretary of the area, respectively, the CDA accused a property development company, traditional authorities and the state house of assembly committee on land matters of being behind the plot.

They also named O. J Aboyeji, Ag. general manager of New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), as part of the people involved in the plot.

According to the statement, the green area is a natural floodplain that is prone to heavy annual flooding.

The CDA said the new NTDA helmsman had called a meeting with some residents on Wednesday but they were threatened to consent to the environmental degradation of the green belt area despite the opposition of the estate.

They expressed shock when events at the meeting “clearly showed that the NTDA had made a 360-degree turn from its previously sound position that an estate could not be sited on the floodplain” .

“The meeting turned out to be a monologue of threats and intimidation to railroad the CDA into teaming up with him and his collaborators to consent to the environmental degradation of the green belt area despite the opposition of the estate and against the opinions of environmental experts in the private and public sectors. The green area is a vast gorge adjoining our estate, ” the statement read.

“Several red flags have been raised at different platforms emphasizing the imminent threats to human lives and property if the Lagos State Government permits the despoliation of the Green Belt Zone, which essentially and primarily is a flood plain.

“During the meeting it became obvious that the CDA was only invited to be commanded by the NTDA to do the bidding of the developer, the omo-onile and other affiliated interest groups.

“We were told that the House of Assembly had arrived at a resolution that the CDA must open its gates to these intruders to wilfully turn the flood plain into a residential estate and therefore jeopardise the peaceful existence of residents of Magodo GRA Phase 1, Magodo GRA Phase 2, Omole Phase 2 and Olowora environs.

“The NTDA officials further stated that part of their recommendations was that an access road should be created for the settlement via Olowora if they insisted on building on the flood plain.

“The Omo-oniles outrightly rejected this recommendation and the House of Assembly members concurred with the Omo-oniles.”

The CDA said there are rumours that the house of assembly committee on land matters might have been compromised “because it is very clear that they are bent on letting the Omo-oniles have their way in the face of the many dangers that this move portends”.

“We are living witnesses to the awful incidents that happened in the neighbouring Isheri North in October 2019, where buildings collapsed at Orisha at the adjacent end of Magodo Village and lives were lost overnight,” they said.

“We cannot sit back, fold our arms, watch and allow similar incidents of more grievous dimension happen to us when we can fight to prevent it now.”

The CDA appealed to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state, to investigate the matter by setting up a non-partisan committee to review the case and to save the lives and properties of residents in the area.

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