PHOTOS: Ibadan Residents Lament Pulling Down of Houses 250metres Away from Circular Road

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Residents of Gbalefa, Osho and Adigbe villages all under Gbalefa, a sleepy town located in Ibadan less city whose houses were located meters away from the ongoing Ibadan Circular Road on Wednesday lamented the destruction and pulling down of their houses by the officials of Oyo State Government.

A spokesman of the affected communities, simply identified as Oluranti in a distress voice note to one of the communities’ WhatsApp platforms, bemoaned the level of destruction which he claimed had reached about 250metres away from the circular road, when the government deployed bulldozers to the area in the early hours of yesterday.

According to him, “we are presently helpless with the level of the destruction so far carried out by government officials on our properties. Pulling down of houses have gone beyond circular road areas as they appeared to be targeting 500 meters the government had always wanted along the circular road corridors.

“What they have possessed as at the time I visited there was already closed to between 200 and 250metres. I am making this distress call to allow for us to deliberate on how we can halt the trend before they pulled down all our houses.

“We need to urgently appeal to the Governor of the State, Engr. Seyi Makinde to direct the officials to stop the trend. Whether they halt the process or not, it has already affected me as the Chairman of Ojutola Elewe community. We are appealing to us to come together and appeal to the Governor to stop further action.

“Let’s put heads together and I don’t want commentators here to abuse the government or His Excellency but rather to appeal to the State Government for a way out and possible solutions,” he said.

Another commentator who did not give his name said, “even if we abuse them from today till tomorrow, the deed has already been done. Despite all the steps we have taken so far, it seems they didn’t listen to our pleas. The 250metres you said they have reached, you can imagine the number of people they have ruined for life?

“This shouldn’t be our portion. We the people of Oyo State and especially Ibadanland voted overwhelmingly for the Governor. We should not because of the enjoyment of few privileged individuals destroy the livelihoods of others especially now that the cost of getting a new land and building material have really skyrocketed.

“God should show all of us His mercy especially those of us affected so far. May God shine His face on us and grant us the grace to overcome this trying moment. It is so sad, painful and heartbreaking,” he added.

Pictures of the destroyed properties were shared on the platform with many of the affected residents lamenting their loss and crying for help.

Contacted, the State Government through the Commissioner for Lands, Housing, Survey and Urban Development, Mr. Akin Funmilayo appealed for the understanding of the affected communities, saying the government was concerned about their plights but the overriding public interest necessitated the move.

According to the Commissioner, “the affected houses were built on government’s acquisition of 500 meters around Circular road. And they were given enough notice and the latest was about a month ago.

“A number of them have complied and have even removed their roofs amongst others. Those affected would be compensated as a particular factory was already compensated to the tune of N100million”, the commissioner explained.

He added that the government would always put the interest of the masses at heart and that’s why the densely populated areas around the acquisition areas may be spared but our people must understand that what the government is doing was in their best interest as we cannot afford loss of lives that could be occasioned by avoidable accidents when houses are built within the circular road corridors.

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