Fresh Trouble For Sanwoolu As Lekki Coastal Youths Threaten To Send Companies Away Over Disobedience Of Signed MOU~NEWSEXTRA - News Extra Online



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Thursday, 5 November 2020

Fresh Trouble For Sanwoolu As Lekki Coastal Youths Threaten To Send Companies Away Over Disobedience Of Signed MOU~NEWSEXTRA

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The youth forum of Lekki Coastal Area Development Association have sent a strong warning to the Lagos State Government, stressing that they will have no choice than to send comapinies in Lekki Free Trade Zone away since their association agreement was not honoured.

The communities that make up Lekki Coastal Area Development Association are Tiye, Imobido, Ilege, Idasho, Lekuru, Magbon Segun, Okesegun, Itoke, Idotun, Ileko-Alasia, Okunraye and Olomowewe.

According to the press statement, Lagos State Government came with the idea of Free Trade Zone In 2006 and entered into discussions with the communities. Precisely, on 27th March, 2007 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was executed between the state government, the Ibeju Lekki local government, the Lekki worldwide investment limited and the representatives of the ancestral communities. 

 Paragraph 8 (A) of the MoU pointed that, "affected villages and communities shall jointly constitute the Lekki Coastal Area Association (LCAA), upon which registration: the LCAA shall hold the minimum fully paid up equity/shareholding of 2.5% in the holdings of the LWIL, on behalf of the affected villages and communities. Pursuant to its regulations, the LCAA shall represent the interests of the members of the affected villages and communities with regards to the terms stated in this MoU."

Lekki Coastal Community Youth Forum alleged Lagos State Government of disobeying the MoU almost immediately the agreement was signed.

According to the youth forum, “The Lagos State Government undertakes to grant Certificates of Occupancy covering plots of the Seven hundred and fifty (750) hectares of unencumbered land in favor of members of 
the affected villages and communities. At the point of implementation of that obligation by Lagos State Government, the government gave 375 (three hundred and seventy five) hectares instead of 750 (seven hundred and fifty) hectares.

“The land which was located in another set of three communities: Oshoroko, Origanrigan and Lekki. These three communities sold the lands illegally and made it practically impossible for Lekki Coastal communities to access the land, yet Lagos State Government did nothing.”

Furthermore, the youth forum statedthat about 318 hectares of the total 375 hectares had been sold In 2016 when the present regime of Lekki Coastal trustees took possession of the land. They expressed their disappointment in the Lagos Government inability to intervene despite several letters written to the necessary quarters.

“As beneficial owners, Lekki Coastal communities retain full liberty to deal, 
transact, ratify or alienate any or all portions of its lands on behalf and for the benefits of its constituent communities as established under the MoU.

“It is therefore surprising to us as youths of these communities to hear the attempt 
being made by Government to cancel or rubbish all ratification in order to put the 
communities in problem over transaction done over the land that legitimately 
belongs to them. There is no smoke without fire says an adage and in more explicit terms, it is pertinent to state clearly that there are some confusionists fanning the conflict underground,“ they added.

The youth said that haven sued for peace encouraged the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu to  direct the communities involved and Lekki Coastal Area Development Association to pause all activities on the lands. He, however sent the Surveyor General and other officials 
from Lands Bureau to give proper audit.

Despite the he governor's order, report have it that Mr. Dele Ajayi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives is constructing a storey building on the land. Also, report have it that officials of the lands bureau and the surveyor general are very much aware of the Governor's aid action.

Reacting to the settlement committee set up by the government, the youth of Lekki Coastal development association pointed that the MoU has made provisions for the community to make up 30% of the committee. Noting that out of 20 members of the committee, Government agencies will constitute 14 members, while the communities will make up up the remaining.

The youth expressed their dissatisfaction that the communities are not allowed to nominate their 6 members, making emphasis that list from the Baales, Youth and Women Leaders should be recognized by the government.

Finally, the youth have strongly warned the government that if they can not get justice by the peaceful means, they will be forced to claim their lands by shutting down the Lekki Free Trade Zone. They, however urged Governor Sanwo-Olu to intervene so as to pave way for a peaceful and serene business environment at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

All efforts to reach Governor Sanwo-Olu's Special Adviser on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dele Ajayi proved abortive. His phone number has been out of reach at the time of filing this report.

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