Members of Ndigbo Buru’Otu Association, others lament over demolition of structures by FHA in Ijeododo, demand Baale Abu-Jelili’s swift Intervention

….’We have been duped by the baale’ community landowners cries over demolition of building structures by FHA on their lands.

By Onome Naomi


Members of Ndigbo Buru’Otu Association, others woke up on the morning of Thursday, 21st March 2024 to a heart wrenching act of demolition carried out by Federal Housing Authourity on their structures in Ijeododo part of Lagos State.

The Chairman of the Ndigbo Buru’Otu Association of Nigeria, Eze Dr CC Nwokedi revealed over 500 members contributed to purchase the vast acres of land since 2017 but were shocked and disappointed at the latest development of demolition. He said no prior notice was given by FHA neither did the baale who sold the land for igbos and others reached out to talk about any notice of demolition.

Addressing pressmen about the demolition, Nwokedi said:

“Our people are angry because they bought lands worth over a billion naira to be landlords instead of being tenants with constant threat of quit notice or increased rent and nextly, structures erected by means of hard earned money has been destroyed, and land confiscated.

After the land was acquired from the baale, there was proper documentation and family receipt to say we have bought from the right source verified by FHA. Millions of naira went into sand filling alone, now is it a crime to buy lands from the king in charge only to be defrauded? All affected igbos are not happy.

Igbos within and outside my jurisdiction of leadership approaches me to verify a genuine land as their leader and I led them through the appropriate source ‘the baale’ who inturn issues family receipt only to find out the land is not genuinely owned by the ruling family but FHA, how then can I be trusted? I can be arrested yet innocent, it is a dent on my image as a leader.

The baale has been alerted and he feigned ignorance of FHA’s demolition plan, but when I asked those carrying out the demolition, they confirmed a notice has been passed since 2022 and they must carry on with the assignment. Right now, FHA is working on the land and have claimed it. We need to hear from the government, we want a refund of money spent on structures destroyed as well as get our lands back. The baale needs to tell us what he truly knows as regards the demolition and create a working solution as some members are already contemplating suicide.

If truly these acres of land belongs to FHA, then we have been duped by the baale and this is termed fraudulent.”

Chief Martins Chikezie a member of the Igbo Buru’Otu association said he owns 3 plots of land in the affected area, reveals at the point of purchase baale’ affirmed the land belongs to his family only to see FHA claiming the said land. Appeals to FG to give the lands back as plans are underway to build a small home for his family to avoid threats of quit notice or displacement.

A civil servant who retired after 35years of service said she had used her retirement savings to purchase 2 plots short of half plot due to grabbing. She expressed her disappointments at FHA for the inconsiderate action of demolition while she appeals to the baale of Ijeododo to intervene as she has no other properties to hold unto after retirement.

The group of affected occupants of the said land in Ijeododo approached the baale who received them warmly expressing his dismay over the demolition as well. Eze Chika Nwokedi who led the movement accompanied by PG Igbo speaking community, Chief Sunday Udeh and Ezendigbo Oriade Eze Chukwukadibia told baale’ Jelili that he wasn’t notified of the said demolition until Thursday 21st March when he saw a video online of some persons encroaching the land bought by the association claiming ownership.

The President General of Igbo speaking community in Lagos Chief Sunday Udeh also questioned the involvement of the baale in the demolition process, asked for inclusion of Eze Chika Nwokedi in the plans to proffer solutions as the money involved in the purchase of land and erection of structures is too much to be wasted, he also asked for timeframe for solutions to be proffered to douse the already built up tension. Eze Chukwukadibia also made an input to buttress on the lament of igbos, says there is need for a swift Intervention to avoid mishap.

Some members expressed their pains to the baale, ask for utmost attention and solution as some is already contemplating suicide over the great loss if nothing is done immediately. A dignitary who attended the meeting with High Chief Abu-Jelili challenged the ignorance feigned by the baale, says it is unbelievable that he isn’t aware of the demolition before it is carried out, advises all to be verified with FHA to avoid occurrences such as this even after receiving family receipt over purchased land.

The baale of Ijeododo High Chief Abu-Jelili Ayinde Ododo and his executives in response to the different complaints and allegations denied involvement and knowledge of the demolition, says a man named Mr lawal who is FHA Surveyor accompanied by some people visited his palace in 2024 claiming their land is extended to some areas in ijeododo. After several meetings, FHA representative said houses marked won’t be demolished but those unmarked are on the roads or blocking a canal. To this effect, the baale mentioned that he asked for solution to those unmarked and they requested receipt from the buyers as a way to avoid demolition.

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The baale expressed disappointment at the sudden demolition after proffering solution to avoid it, affirmed he is genuinely bothered by the recent development, urges affected persons to be calm for he’s in control of the situation as well as gathering vital information, appeals for patience. Be rest assured I am not sleeping on this case, there is no court judgement according the said land to FHA, he added.

More photos from the site of demolition by FHA:


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