Residents of Odo-Egiri, Imokun and Epe have cried out to the Lagos State Government for protection against activities of land grabbers in Kajola village in Eredo, Epe.
The residents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Epe, alleged that land grabbers had been encroaching on their lands on daily basis.
They said they had been having sleepless nights over the activities of land grabbers in the area.
They listed the families affected by the development to include Ayinde, Lamoyefun, Raji, and Ojikutu.
Oluwatoyin Rauf, head of the Ayinde family in Odo-Egiri, pleaded with the state government and Lagos State lawmakers to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said land grabbers had encroached on their family land and that of the Raji family.
Rauf said none of the rightful owners of the land could get to their land as hoodlums, armed with machetes and other dangerous weapons, had occupied the place.
Also speaking, Rasheed Adekoya, head of the Lamoyefun family, told NAN that land grabbers had continued to unleash terror on the people of Imokun and neighbouring communities.
Adekoya added that hoodlums rape, kill, kidnap and even initiate some youths in the Eredo community into cultism.
He said a young man was killed about two weeks ago, while a woman was kidnapped.
“Nobody knows her whereabouts till date,” he said.
According to him, a family making false claims to some land in the area had used hoodlums to forcefully take over the land from the rightful owners.
Adekoya said the plots of land in question were leased to the said family for a period of time but they refused to release them to the original owners after the expiration of the agreement.
He said there is no police station in the state that he had not visited on this matter, but all to no avail.
“These land grabbers are now in every nook and cranny of Epe land, claiming that they work with the state government and other security agencies,” Adekoya said.
A member of the Raji family, Abibat Raji, said the land in question belongs to her great grandfather, Eleko Adebamowo, from whom Raji and Saliu descended.
Raji said: “My father, Alhaji Raji, took us to the land before he died; we used to farm on the land and my father did the survey plan of his land.
“After my father’s death, I was in charge of the land until when I left for my higher education, which prompted me to hand over the land to my mother and Saliu family.
“Recently, after my graduation, I told my mother to quit farming and I invested N250,000 to cultivate the land.
“On getting to the farm, I met land grabbers, claiming ownership.
“We took the police there, but they said it was beyond their powers.”
Adeyemi Adebomehin, an indigene of Epe and Chief Executive Officer, Bomelin Property, said all efforts to stop the activities of land grabbers in Epe had been unsuccessful.
Adebomehi said: “The residents have cried out to the traditional ruler of the community severally, but no good results yet.
“Our mothers and fathers cannot go to the farm again due to the evil activities of land grabbers.
“The police have been doing nothing in this matter as we have written petitions to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State and the Inspector-General of Police, all to no avail.”
They called for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s timely intervention.
Saliu Muritala, a community leader in Imokunland, said land grabbers had taken away the peace that existed in the community before their invasion.
Muritala said he had reported the matter to the Council of Traditional Rulers, Obas and Chiefs in Epe Division, but that nothing was yet to be done.
“I want to appeal to Governor Sanwo-Olu to wade into this land grabbing issue before it gets out of hand in Epe,” he said.