related Residents of Bakare Estate, Lekki, cry out over "illegal construction of fences on public roads"

Residents of Bakare Estate, Lekki, cry out over "illegal construction of fences on public roads"

The residents of Bakare Estate in Lekki, Lagos, have cried out over what they term "illegal construction of fences on public roads".

In a statement, the copy which was sent to TMZNaija on Saturday, the residents of the estate said the new structure will cause hardship in the estate.

The residents are calling on the Lagos government to intervene to prevent the breakdown of law and order as there have been clashes over the illegal structure.

Full statement below.

The residents received a letter RE: ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NUISANCE AT THE PERIMETER FENCE BOUNDARY OF OUR ESTATE, ref. MOE/OES/6289/58 and dated March 26, 2020  signed by the Permanent Secretary (OES), Ministry of Environment and Water Resources in which the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources appears  to be  authorizing the erection of fences on internal roads inside Bakare Estate, Ajiran - Lekki.
"We are law abiding, tax paying residents of Lagos State residing in the aforementioned Bakare Estate for which, all taxes have been paid and permits secured for construction and habitation of the said properties", one of the affected residents said on the condition of anonymity.

In reviewing the letter referenced above, it appears that the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources has been misled by certain residents of Bakare Estate by furnishing the Government with false information in order to accomplish a long held goal of dividing the estate in violation of the approved development plan of the estate.

Background.

Bakare Estate land is owned by the Bakare Family section of the Ojomu Chieftaincy Family and forms part of the Ojomu Chieftaincy family lands in Ajiran.

This land covers all of Bakare Estate and the so-called “Chevyview” Estate and both the State Government approved survey and development plan acknowledge this fact (Excerpt from approved development plan attached).
Bakare Estate layout
It is instructive to note that Bakare Estate Residents Association is the sole corporate registered entity with the State Government and the Ojomu Chieftaincy Family as the bonafide residents’ association.
 
In violation of the approved development plan, certain elements of the Estate have started erecting illegal fences on estate roads in order to delineate sections of the estate as more elitist than others without regard to the inconvenience and risk to safety of residents.

For example, a section of Bakare Estate stopped cooperation with the Bakare Estate Residents Association, has erected fences on estate roads (on UBA road and William Onoh Street) and renamed themselves as Chevyview Estate thereby cutting off other residents from access and free use of public roads and facilities.

It is instructive to note that the fences have been marked as illegal by the Lagos State Government although no action has been taken to remove the offending fences either by the violators or the State Government.
Bakare Estate
Another section of residents have renamed themselves as BERA Estate (please note that this body bears no affiliation with the state-recognized Bakare Estate Residents Association), ceased cooperation with the recognized residents association and are using the ruse of this attached letter to erect  fences by our properties in order to completely sever our access to publicly available access roads to/from Chevron Drive thereby inflicting severe hardship on us.

This faction of residents is chaired by Prince Adedamola Adekunjo Docemo, the current Managing Director of the Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency.

The efforts to divide the estate has long been championed by Prince Docemo who in early 2019, in his capacity as a supposed factional Chairman of BERA Estate, directed a private developer to construct his building across Sesan Awonoiki Street as a means of creating a demarcation in the estate.

This effort led to physical altercations amongst residents and prompted a petition to the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) which eventually frustrated that effort.
Illegal fence at Bakare Estate
At the time, Prince Docemu was invited to the Ajiran Palace and was severely reprimanded, warned against such divisive conduct and directed to dissolve his renegade faction and re-join the recognized Residents’ Association where he can contribute ideas and efforts to the development and sustenance of the community.

In the current effort, the same Prince Docemo-led faction has written to the Lagos State Ministry of Environment alleging that a section of the estate is used as a refuse dump prompting the letter from the Lagos State Ministry of Environment.

 There is nothing further from the truth as no part of Bakare Estate is a refuse ground. Bakare Estate is a gated community with established ownership on every plot. Investigation by reporters clearly establish this claim to be false.
Emboldened by his appointment as MD of LASAA,  Mr. Docemo’s factional officials appeared in the estate with a contingent of mobile policemen on May 18, 2020; and attempted to start construction of a fence across Sesan Awonoiki Street on the same site as the earlier aborted effort and another fence across Olatunde Omolegbe Street.

When challenged by other residents, they produced the attached letter from the Ministry of Environment as the State Government approval for their actions.

The situation degenerated rapidly leading to altercation with residents and shooting by the mobile policemen but luckily, no lives were lost during the incident.

Even the intervention of Chief Bakare and the Ajiran Palace could not convince the Prince Docemo-led faction and their mobile policemen to abandon their ill-advised mission.

As peace-loving residents of Lagos State, some residents have decided against resorting to self-help to address this issue and instead decided to bring this to the attention of the State Commissioner of Physical Planning & Urban Development who is responsible for the urban planning and whose Ministry approved the development of the Estate.

However, other residents may continue to resist these actions which may lead to a breakdown of law and order and possible fatalities if urgent action is not taken.
Illegal gate at Bakare Estate
It must be noted that these illegal fences in addition to those constructed by the so-called Chevyview Estate are not consistent with the approved development plans for the Estate and will inflict extreme hardship on residents as most children in Bakare Estate attend the Newhall School situated in the “Chevyview” portion and these fences will completely cut the children off from their school.

Most families in Bakare Estate shop at the supermarket, food market and mall on Chevron Drive and these illegal structures threaten to completely cut off families from access to Chevron Drive.

A lot of residents in Bakare Estate work with Chevron Nigeria Limited and the decision to live in Bakare Estate was predicated on its proximity to their place of work. These illegal structures threaten to inflict untold hardship on these residents.

The residents are praying that the state intervenes urgently to ensure adherence to the State Government’s Development Planning Regulations, to give effect to Government’s stated opposition to illegal restriction of Lagosians’ movement by the erection of illegal structures, and to call Prince Docemo and his faction to order.

Specifically, they are requesting the demolition of  the fences erected on UBA road and William Onoh Street by the Chevyview faction in furtherance of the removal notice inscribed on the fences since 2018 when they were erected and the stoppage of the erection of the fences currently under construction by the Prince Docemo-led BERA faction or the removal the fences if completed at the time of action.

These actions are required before the planned opening of schools to save the parents and children of Newhall school from terrible hardships getting to school.

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