Oct 13, 2011 – Illegal occupants of the Government Reservation Area (GRA) at Abere, near the governor’s office in Osogbo, Osun State, have continued to defy government’s quit order.
The area, which is an extension of the governor’s office, measures up to 20 hectares of land.
Some illegal residential and business structures mounted by unauthorised developers are scattered all over the place while some have converted some portions into farmlands.
In spite of several quit notices issued by the state government in the past, the squatters have remained recalcitrant, claiming ownership of the land.
It was also gathered that officials of the Ministry of Land on survey assignments could not gain access to some parts of the land, except with police escort.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Akere, said the land belonged to government and that the ownership was not negotiable.
“Anybody who decides to defy the order of government will have himself or herself to blame at the appropriate time,” he said. “Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration will never be part of the illegality and that is why there is the need to study the situation well before taking any action.”
According to the commissioner, appropriate action would be taken at the appropriate time after government must have explored all peaceful avenues to recover the land.
Some of the illegal occupants, however, said that they bought portions of the land where they were occupying from the natives who claimed ownership of the place.
The respondents, who wanted to remain anonymous, however said if government was ready to compensate them, they were ready to quit the place.(Daily Times)