The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council, has raised the alarm over alleged plot to sell its secretariat’s land popularly known as “Iwe Irohin” in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“Iwe Irohin” located at Oke-Ilewo in Abeokuta was named after the first newspaper publication in Nigeria by Rev. Henry Townsend.
The council also expressed concern over the encroachment on the union’s land, proposed for its permanent site at Leme area of Abeokuta by suspected land grabbers.
The State Chairman, Wale Olanrewaju, disclosed this at a news conference held at the state secretariat in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
Olanrewaju said the suspected land grabbers had placed N350 million price tag on the secretariat’s land.
He explained that the site situated behind Providence Hotel in Abeokuta had been encroached on by unscrupulous land speculators taking advantage of the land laying fallow over the years.
The chairman noted that the fraudulent act was allegedly orchestrated by one Gbenga who brazenly bragged of his connection in high places in connivance with one Lekan.
He added that these people had no connection to the land and the area but going about feeding fat on vacant lands in connivance with his cohorts in government agencies.
Lekan, in flagrant disregard to NUJ ownership of the land, rented out our land to mechanics, panel beaters and the rest, collecting money from them.
“For the records, the said land has a genuine Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) openly and proudly presented by Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun state to the council while in office,” he said.
Olanrewaju alleged that retired and serving staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing were planning to sell the property.
“Some years ago, the space allocated in honour of journalists and the progenitor of journalism, Rev. Henry Townsend since 1992, was put up for sale by one Surveyor Bajo who retired from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
“The council therefore called on the state governor, and other relevant authorities to stop the incursion, trespassing and encroachment on its land.
“We call on the Federal Government to restrain those officers in the Ministry of Works and Housing to discontinue their unholy interest in our land,” he said.