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River Park Estate Demolition Notice: FCDA Denies Involvement Before Reps Probe

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Following the summon by the House of Representatives Committee on public Petition of the FCT over the demolition notice of the River Park Estate, the director of the department of the development control in Federal Capital Development Authority, Muktair Galadima Usman has denied knowledge of such notice.

The committee, sequel to the petition by the residents of the River Park summoned the minister of FCT, director of department of the development control and officials and the developer, Mr Paul Odili with a view to resolving the age long crisis in the area.

Having denied any knowledge of notice of demolition, the Chairman of the committee Mike Etiaba ruled that the committee will make on the spot visit of the area to access the place to know where the committee whether the FCDA or the developer.

The chair however, adjourned sitting still 21st of March and urged the residents to remain calm, he also appealed to them to make all the relevant papers concerning the lands available to the committee.

In the petition to the speaker of the House, Rt Hon Abbas Tajudeen, the residents at the CRD Layout No. 0235 where we and our families with population of over 500 have been resident for not less than 15 years to come to their rescue.

The chairman of the resident association, Alhaji Abdulwasiu Mustapha appealed to the speaker to kindly lend support to suppressed voices by personally intervene and engage with FCT minister on this matter as all previous engagement s with the immediate past administration had yielded no positive result.

It would be recalled that these illegal activities took a frightening dimension on the 31st January 2015. Then Mr. Paul Odili together with about 30 armed miscreants and 4 persons in Police uniform invaded the Layout. Several people were beaten and properties were damaged with impunity.

This war-like incident, which was coordinated by the 4 people in Police uniform, left four residents of the estate with life-threatening machete injuries on their heads and chests. Mr. Paul Odili stationed some of the miscreants on the “conquered” lands and properties with firm instructions that they should not allow any development whatsoever in the layout.

In December 2016, Mr. Paul Odili came to the Layout again, arrogantly claiming that he had settled top officials of the Department of Development Control of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) to demolish all the remaining houses located in the Layout. Like a joke, 3 days later, he mobilized 2 Bulldozers to the Layout and personally directed their operators to demolish some fences and dig very steep trenches around some undeveloped plots to make them inaccessible to their owners.

The attempts by some residents and landlord of the Layout to protest were violently resisted by Mr. Paul Odili and about 20 persons in Police uniform, who used their guns and horse whips to frighten and chase such residents and landlords.

The grand plan of Mr. Paul Odili is to forcibly acquired 475 hectares for the siting of River Park Estate. One wonders where this much land will come from in Lugbe, of all places. In pursuance of this grand plan, Mr. Paul Odili had illegal demolished over 10 houses and forcibly acquired about 150 plots in the CRD Lugbe 1, Layout. In the Layout alone, his intention is to forcibly acquire 475 plots. The CRD Lugbe I Layout is not the first Layout that had been so illegally canibalized by Mr. Paul Odili.

Part of Lugbe I Layout was forcibly acquired in this same Gestapo manner. To our chagrin, on Wednesday 7th February 2024, we were welcomed home from work with DEMOLITION NOTICES issued by the Department of Development Control on the ground that our houses either CONSTITUTED NUISANCES to other existing structures or built on land earmarked for CENTRAL MARKET (the attached refers).

This is a ruse and a ploy to misinform and misguide members of the public. It is hard to believe that these illegalities continue under the present FCT Administration, which professed to have no tolerance for corruption. As concerned residents and landlords, and responsible Nigerians in the CRD Lugbe I Layout, severally and collectively, we have reported these illegal activities of Mr. Paul Odili to the DPO Lugbe Police Station, the FCT Police Command, the Minister of the FCT, and the National Assembly, to no avail.

Our patience has been stretched to a point of exhaustion, however, we strongly believe that the long arm of the law shall catch-up with these illegalities. But we pray that the government should come to our rescue on time before the situation degenerate into a total breakdown of law and order in the Layout and its environs.

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Bandits Abduct Fouani MD, 3 Others ….Demand $1.5m Ransom

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Armed men, on Friday, abducted the Managing Director of Fouani Company, which represents LG and Hisense, along with three Lebanese while travelling by boat in Lagos, PUNCH Online reports.

Although the names of the victims have not been ascertained, it was learnt that they were abducted around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island.

A source familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of its sensitive nature, told PUNCH Online that the kidnappers had reached out, demanding ransom.

“Yesterday (Friday) evening, the Managing Director of Fouani company (LG and Hisense) and three Lebanese were kidnapped around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island by boat.

“The kidnappers have asked for $1.5m,” the source said.

When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development.

“Yes, it is true. We got the report and we are looking into it. Please, I’m not obliged to state more than that,” he simply said.

When our correspondent asked about the details of the names of the abducted persons, Hundeyin insisted, “I’m not obliged to state the names, when, where and how it happened for now but we are looking into it.”

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SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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Group raises alarm over looming food shortage in Southwest

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..… calls on govt to provide security, incentives to farmers

By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade,

Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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