Scores of protesting residents of Ijegun in Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, on Monday, stormed the State Secretariat at Alausa in Ikeja to appeal to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to rescue the community from destruction.
The protesters, who stormed the Government House and Lagos State House of Assembly, both in Alausa, demanded compensation for victims of a recent pipeline explosion in the community.
They decried alleged security challenges facing the residents.
A recent pipeline explosion which occurred in the area Ijegun, as a result of the activities of pipeline vandals claimed multiple lives, injured many and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The protesters, who included traditional chiefs, academics, market men and women, landlords and youth leaders, chanted solidarity songs to drive home their demands.
They also carried placards with various inscriptions such as: “Thorough Investigation”, “Compensation for Victims”, “Re-dredge the Canals At Ijegun” and “We Say No To Vandals In Ijegun Community.”
The inscriptions also include: “Petrol Tankers Are Not Allowed between 10.00p. and 5.00a.m.”, “Please Save Our Souls in Ijegun Community” and “Save Ijegun from Fire Disaster and Extinction.”
The Chairman, Joint Community Development Association (CDA), Ijegun, Mr Wale Akinbo and the Councilor representing Ijegun Ward D, Mr Saliu Alade, who led the protesters, urged the Assembly and the governor to intervene in their situation.
According to the duo, the House and the governor should treat the plight of residents as a matter of urgent public importance to enable them ‘to sleep with two eyes closed’.
In a communiqué signed on their behalf by Akinbo, Alade and the Secretary of Strategic Security Committee, Ijegun, Mr Oguntulu Oluwatosin, the residents called for increased security in the area and listed other means to solve activities of vandals in the area.
They urged the state government to also fix roads and canals in the state.
Some of the solutions listed in the communique included:
“Deployment of security personnel around the pipeline routes, especially at the 5-Junction.
“Construction of barrier across the entrances of streets leading to the pipeline routes.
“That government should stop forthwith the approval of establishment of more filling stations /gas plants in Ijegun, as they are too many.
“Most of these petrol stations are concentrated in and around residential areas in Ijegun.
“Henceforth, the tanker drivers should be stopped from parking their tankers, along the pipeline routes.
“The government should construct concrete blockages around the preferred spots of the vandals, to make digging difficult and almost impossible for them,” they said.
The residents added that petrol tankers should be restricted from moving into and outside of Ijegun through both Ikotun-Ijegun road and Isolo road, between the hours of 10 pm – 5 am.
They requested further that the government should make arrangement for financial compensation for the victims
“The government should look into the dredging of the canal that linked IBA LCDA from Awolumate Street, by Catholic Church in Ijegun, as a matter of urgency.
“The Kabiyesi and the entire people of Ijegun wish to express our profound appreciation to your Excellency, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for your prompt response toward the plight of the community.”
The communiqué said that the Onijegun of Ijegun land, Oba Nureni Olomitutu, had inaugurated a strategic security committee anchored around the Ijegun joint CDA.
The residents said that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of brainstorming and coming up with suggestions aimed at putting an end to the activities of pipeline vandals.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of the Speaker, Rotimi Olowo (APC-Somolu I), commended them for peaceful conduct, saying that the House was concerned about their situation.
Olowo commiserated with Ijegun residents on the death of their neighbours through the explosion, saying that it would be important for the government to look into their requests.
The lawmaker, who was accompanied by the lawmaker representing Alimosho Constituency 1, Bisi Yusuff, promised to convey their requests to the Speaker.
The Director, Office of Civic Engagement, Hundeyin Kolawole, who received the communiqué on behalf of Sanwo-Olu, promised the protesters that the matter would be addressed by the state government in due course.