Nigerian Army’s Encroachment in Iraiye-Oke: Protesters Confront Lagos State Governor During Executive Council Retreat.
Kakalistiq.com reports that tensions ran high on Friday, September 16th, 2023 as residents of the Iraye-Oke community, located in Eredo LCDA, Epe Division of Lagos State, took their grievances to the doorstep of the state’s highest office.
On the sidelines of a retreat and onboarding event for the newly constituted executive council, the residents, deeply troubled by the alleged encroachment of the Nigerian Army on their ancestral land, tried to meet with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Carrying placards and banners adorned with powerful slogans, the determined protesters sought an audience with Governor Sanwo-Olu to draw attention to their pressing concerns. However, they were met with resistance from security personnel guarding the venue, the Jubilee Chalets in Epe.
Amidst the chaos, some key security officials, including the Governor’s Chief Security Officer and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Nigerian Police in Epe, attempted to restore order. They assured the protesters that the Governor would address their grievances and investigate the matter thoroughly.
The protesters, numbering in the hundreds, remained resolute in their commitment to ensure that their voices were heard. They had strategically positioned themselves at both entrances to the Jubilee Chalets to maximize their impact and draw attention to their cause.
In light of this developing situation, three residents from the Iraye-Oke community shared their perspectives on the encroachment issue.
Mr. Adekunle, a lifelong resident of Iraye-Oke, expressed his distress, saying, “Our ancestors have lived on this land for generations. It’s heartbreaking to see the Nigerian Army claim it as their own without proper authorization. We want Governor Sanwo-Olu to hear our plea and help us regain what rightfully belongs to our community.”
Mr. Kazeem, a community leader, emphasized the need for swift action, stating, “The presence of the Army on our land has disrupted our lives and threatens our future. We demand justice, not just for ourselves but for future generations who should inherit this land as their heritage.”
Mrs. Faith, a mother of three, said, “We are here today because we cannot stay silent any longer. Our children deserve to grow up in a peaceful and secure environment. We hope the Governor will intervene and ensure that justice prevails.”
As the standoff continues, the residents of the Iraye-Oke community remain determined to press their demands for justice and the return of their ancestral land. The outcome of this confrontation is keenly awaited by the community and concerned observers alike.
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.