Residents of Ogunrun Ori community, in the Ofada-Mokoloki Local Council Development Area of Ogun State have asked the Federal Government to remove a proposed interchange project from the area.
They lamented the continuous demolition of houses in the community to pave way for different government projects.
The residents recalled that the Federal Government had many years ago taken over some community land and property for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
They noted that any further demolition would deplete the community.
In a meeting with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Tuesday, the Baale of the community, Chief Kayode Ogunloye, said taking part of the community for the interchange project meant taking the heritage of the people.
He said, “This town has been in existence since 1837 and if you want to destroy our village, that means you want to destroy our forefathers’ heritage. There is nowhere we can go; you have collected the whole village from us.
“We don’t want relocation because there are some things that our forefathers have done on this land. We don’t want interchange here; we don’t want the government demolishing our buildings again.
“Although we want the government to develop our domain, we don’t want them to scrap off the village. If the vice president could come to our domain to seek support in the last election, and the next thing we would see is demolition of our houses, it is not fair. If the government wants to solve a traffic problem, they should construct the Papanlanto to Sagamu Road and traffic will reduce.
“We plead with the Federal Government to look for other areas where they can develop the road and reduce traffic on the expressway, instead of demolishing the whole village.”
Responding, one of the representatives of the ministry, Olayiwola Komolafe, said the project was set up by the Federal Government to make commuting easy.
He added that the marking of buildings in the community was necessary to ascertain the number of property that would be affected, noting that it would be easier for the government to compensate residents.
Komolafe said, “Constructing an interchange requires a lot of space and offset from the road and we have started from the Deeper Life area to know how many buildings would be affected.
“When the road was first designed, these developments were not in the design. But when the government discovered that the roads constructed now are too large for people to cross, augmentation and flyovers were introduced.
“It was noticed that traffic volume on the expressway is much. The interchange was introduced to ease traffic when the construction is completed.
“The government also knows that it will affect the property of people and the first step is for us to identify the houses that will be affected and take record of the numbers, which will be sent to appropriate quarters for necessary documentation.”