Journalists appeal to Abiodun over threat to lives at Arepo Estate

Residents of Journalists Estate Phase One Arepo, Ogun State have appealed to the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to wade into the tiff they are having with residents of neighbouring Beachland Estate over an arc that serves as the journalists estate’s security outpost.

The journalists, under the auspices of Journalists’ Estate Residents Development Association (hereafter referred to as JERDA Phase 1), sent a petition yesterday to the governor, titled “Unlawful invasion, criminal destruction to property and persistent threat to lives and property, by residents and leadership of Beachland Estate Residents Association (BERA), Arepo, led by Emmanuel Akudinobi and the Olu of Arepo, Oba Atanda Oyebi and his chiefs.”

The petition, signed by the Chairman JERDA Phase 1, Olufunke Fadugba and the General Secretary, Toye Olori had in copy the Ogun State Commissioners for Works; Physical Planning; Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Ogun State Police Commissioner; Ogun State Director of State Security; HE Aremo Olusegun Osoba; the Chairman Obafemi Owode Local Government; DPO Warewa Police Station; and President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja.

The journalists said “On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, over 50 BERA residents, led by one Mr. Emmanuel Akudinobi, including some chiefs from the palace of the Olu of Arepo, invaded our estate and destroyed our entrance arc, located at the point of security access into our estate. After an initial discussion to prevent the destruction, it was jointly agreed to meet with the traditional ruler later in the day to discuss the issues and resolve the matter amicably.

“However, after a while, thugs, armed with cudgels, in company of some chiefs and the said Emmanuel Akudinobi, came back from the palace of the Olu of Arepo, where they boasted to have received an order to destroy the arc installed by JERDA Phase 1 with millions of Naira belonging to our members.

“They first set about the arc with axes and diggers, to weaken the foundation and seeing that it was not bulging, they then drove an Ayab Truck over it to bring it down violently. The steel arc is a new one in replacement of the initial one that gave way for the road construction currently going on.

“The replacement of the arc was after due approval from the State Ministry of Works and under its thorough engineering supervision. It took a strong restraint of JERDA members and some elders in the estate, for the invasion not to degenerate into full blown skirmish.”

They said the new arc was installed on Tuesday, February 7, 2022, with due notice to relevant authorities, including the Police at Warewa Police station and the Ogun State Ministry of Works, as well as the Ministry of Physical Planning. The approved installation was witnessed by an Ogun State Ministry of Works assigned engineer and inspected later by senior officials from the state government and it was confirmed that they followed due process and specifications as approved by the state.

“However, the chiefs, who accompanied the crowd of thugs, openly boasted to us that the Olu of Arepo gave BERA members and his chiefs the directive that the arc should be destroyed. The reason given, among others, was that we did not pay “homage” to the palace, before erecting the arc and that no other authority can override that of the Olu of Arepo.

“The estate arc has been at this landmark point since the inauguration of the estate in 2003 and delineates the allocated perimeter approved by the Ogun State Government. The location of the arc also serves as a security outpost for the estate and has been instrumental in warding off security threats not only to our estate but also to members of BERA.”


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