Awori Indigenes Warn Ojo Community Against Impending Conflict over LASU Land
Ownership Dispute: Awori Indigenes Refute Ojo Kingdom's Claims on LASU Land
In a bid to prevent a potential war between Awori indigenes of Iba community and Ojo community, the former has advised the latter to refrain from making false claims about the ownership of the land on which Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo campus is situated.
Yesterday, the Bale of Sabo Oniba, Taofeek Oseni, addressed the press on behalf of the Iba community, expressing their shock at the statement made by Ojo Kingdom asserting their ownership of the land. Oseni questioned how Ojo Kingdom could lay claim to land that does not rightfully belong to them.
He further emphasized that the Iba people are known for their commitment to peace and stability, adding that both kingdoms have benefited from the educational institution established on the land. Therefore, he questioned the need to engage in a dispute over ownership.
Oseni remarked, “Even if the government were to compensate the true landowner today, they know where to go. There are existing intelligence reports and surveys dating back to the colonial and post-independence eras.”
The Bale of Sabo Oniba stated that the government, if impartial, possesses a better understanding of the land’s ownership than both Ojo and Iba kingdoms. He made it clear that the Iba community is not interested in engaging in a confrontation but would be prepared to defend their rights if necessary.
“We want to correct the misconception propagated by our brothers from Ojo Kingdom, claiming that the entire land housing LASU belongs to Oniba land under Oniba Kingdom,” Oseni declared. “In fact, the entirety of Ojo itself historically belongs to the Iba land but was later ceded to Ojo Kingdom to maintain peace between the two kingdoms.”
The Bale of Sabo Oniba proceeded to outline the boundary settlement that had been agreed upon between the Iba and Ojo communities. He mentioned prominent landmarks such as Iragbogun, the Alaba International Market bridge, Franklass, the gate of LASU, and certain parts of Iyana Iba.
“We have concrete evidence to support our claims, and if the Ojo Kingdom lacks their own evidence, they should visit the locations I mentioned to verify our descriptions,” Oseni asserted. “That represents the current agreement between Iba and Ojo. As we all know, LASU was established on acquired land. Before it became LASU’s current location, it housed the Federal Government College, which has since been relocated to Agric in Ojo.”
Oseni further clarified, “The transfer of the college was necessary when the Lagos State government decided to establish Lagos State University on that site. Therefore, what was relocated from the land, the Federal Government College, indicates that the land was initially acquired by the federal government. Part of that acquired land forms the army cantonment acquired from Iba Kingdom, with a portion being used for the Federal Government College. Subsequently, it was transferred to Ojo Kingdom for the establishment of Lagos State University, as widely known.”
The plea from the Awori indigenes of Iba community urges Ojo Kingdom to desist from pursuing false claims regarding the ownership of the land on which LASU stands. As tensions mount, both communities face the choice between peaceful resolution or the possibility of escalating conflict.