Federal House of Representatives Urges Army Chief to Halt Harassment and Land Seizures in Iraye, Epe, Lagos State
In a resolute move, kakalistiq.com reports that on Tuesday 17th October 2023, the Federal House of Representatives called upon the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, to immediately instruct the Nigerian Army, particularly those stationed at Epe Barracks, to desist from engaging in acts of harassment, intimidation, and land acquisition within the Iraye-Oke community in Epe, Lagos State. This request is to remain in effect until a resolution is reached on the ongoing land dispute by the House.
The motion, titled “Alleged Intimidation, Assault, and Trespass by the Nigerian Army, Epe Barracks Regarding Land Tussle with the Iraye-Oke Community in Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos State,” was brought to the plenary by Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji, and it was unanimously adopted by members. Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, presided over the session.
Hon. Raji, who presented the motion, noted the existence of a petition filed against the Nigerian Army, specifically Epe Barracks, by the Iraye-Oke community. The petition, submitted on October 4, 2023, outlined concerns of intimidation, assault, and trespass on 329.588 hectares of land, which are under investigation for resolution.
He raised the alarm that since the presentation of the petition, soldiers from Epe Barracks have commenced the forceful acquisition of houses, lands, and fishing ponds belonging to the Iraye-Oke community. This acquisition has extended to encompass the properties surrounding the Army barracks, with armed soldiers stationed at the perimeters, further preventing the rightful owners from accessing their properties.
The House expressed deep concern regarding the residents of Iraye-Oke, who now live in a constant state of fear due to the actions of the Nigerian Army. As a result, many have been compelled to abandon their homes and farmlands, which serve as their primary source of livelihood.
The House, fearing irreparable harm may befall the community, has called for the immediate cessation of any further acts of intimidation, harassment, and land acquisition by the Nigerian Army in Iraye-Oke. This directive is to remain in effect until the pending resolution of the petition, ensuring that the fundamental rights and properties of the community’s residents are protected and upheld.
In the face of escalating tensions and the potential for irreparable harm, the decisive action taken by the Federal House of Representatives sends a clear message that the rights and properties of the Iraye-Oke community are to be safeguarded and protected.
With the call for the Chief of Army Staff to intervene and halt further aggression, the hope for a peaceful and just resolution to the land dispute remains alive. The House’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the well-being and rights of the affected residents underscores the critical role of our legislative bodies in defending the rights of ordinary citizens and preserving the principles of justice and equity.
As this case unfolds, it serves as a testament to the resilience of communities in their pursuit of justice and a reminder that the institutions of democracy will remain vigilant in safeguarding the rights and well-being of all Nigerians.
I am Kaka Babatunde, a budding academic researcher and media enthusiast whose experience in the media industry spans 3 years under @Ekohotblog as a field reporter.
I'm a writer, serial volunteer, and community and youth development enthusiast whose collaborative efforts have immensely contributed to nation-building in Epe LGA, Lagos.