Residents of Okobaba at Ebute-Metta area of Lagos on Monday staged a peaceful protest to the Lagos State House of Lagos over the demolition of their offices and make shift houses.
The protesters numbering about 200 carried placards with various inscriptions such as; “Is Tomori, Oloto above the law,” “Tomori is threatening us with thugs and Police” and “Oloto and Tomori have rendered us homeless”.
The Chairman of Wood Turner Association, Chukwuka Chuks Ogbonna said that after the Okobaba sawmill got burnt on November 8, 2019 a lawyer called Tomori representing Oloto visited the scene in December and ordered the arrest and detention of 17 people for daring to rebuild the burnt offices and structures.
He noted that the demolished sawmill cut across three streets ranging from; Kano, Jebba and Ondo Street, adding that the Lagos State Government was yet to fulfill the plans to relocate residents of the burnt sawmill to Agbawa Ikosi in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
According to a petition sent to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, residents of Okobaba said “Our newly built homes, offices and workshops were totally destroyed by Mr. Tomori without any prior notice or proper engagement with community members,” adding that residents had now become jobless, scavengers and walking corpses.
In his own remarks, Olorisunmibare of Orisunmibare igbogan in Ijesha in Osun State, Oba Oluwaseun Awodiya, who haa business interest in the area, called on the state government to set up a panel of enquiry on the land dispute at Okobaba and cause of the November 8, 2019 fire incident.
He also called on the state government to order Mr. Tomori to pay compensation to community members who suffered loses.
Awodiya posited that the Commissioner for Finance in the state, Rabiu Olowo gave the community members a go ahead to rebuild the burnt structures pending relocation to Agbawa Ikosi, but that Tomori has continued to demolish the structures.
The Director of Political Affairs, Office of Civic Engagement, Hundeyin Kolawole in his response to the protesters promised to look into their demand.
He stated further that the accused person, Mr. Tomori would be invited to shed more light on why the structures belonging to community members of Okobaba were destroyed.