Residents of the Oworonshoki community in Lagos are now living in palpable fear of violence following claims by Oba Bashiru Oloruntoyin Saliu that his family owned the land in the community.
Members of the Residents’ Association (RA) had accused the monarch of making announcements on the radio that he was the owner of the land at Oworo.
“Oba Saliu did not stop with the radio announcement. He proceeded to have his lawyers paste notices in the communities and in our homes, warning us of serious consequences, should we fail to meet his demands,” the residents said.
According to them, Oba Saliu said he got the right to all land through court judgments against other ‘Omoniles,’ and as such, all property owners must come to the palace for repurchase and renegotiation.
Worried that the monarch’s claim could incite unrest in the violence-prone Oworonshoki community, the residents association Chairman, Chief Adekunle Adebayo, explained that there were about eight indigenous families and land speculators that owned and sold lands in Oworo community, and most of the residents legally bought their land from the families.
“Some of these indigenous families are Walter Siffre family, Akinpelu family, Williams family, Sokenu family, Cole family, Miyaki family and Ajisegiri family. We bought the land genuinely from them and got valid documents. We also have our title documents and Certificate of Occupancy from the government,” Adebayo said.
But responding to the allegations, the monarch, who insisted that his family was the owner of the land as the first settlers in the community, said he only asked them to come for ratification and not repurchase.