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A Rant about The Menace Of Omoniles: Is Government Doing Enough?

Are you preparing to start construction on your landed property in Lagos? Have you budgeted a portion of the construction fee for the Omoniles? For how long will this trend continue? Shouldn’t the government take drastic measures to tackle the menace of Omoniles?

If the pronouncement by the Lagos state government is to be taken seriously, then the days of the Land grabbers popularly called “OMONILES” are numbered. The Land urchins who are in the business of extorting land owners, intimidating and even stealing land from people will be made to face the full wrath of the law if such illegal acts continue subsequently as Governor Ambode recently made us understand.

But what we really do not know is if this is just mere propaganda. Will justice really be served these Omoniles? Should Government do more than just instituting a TASK FORCE to checkmate their activities? Who would constitute the said task force?

Did you know that after buying land and landed properties at ridiculous prices from Omoniles in many parts of Lagos and neighbouring states of the south-west geographical region of the country, you still have to go ahead to pay foundation and roofing fees when the actual building commences?

This is a trend that has been in existence since I was born, please don’t ask me when. And for those who refuse to pay the fees, then you might as well kiss your land and your building project goodbye and there is nothing any mortal man can do about it.

These dudes are so treacherous to the point that they sell other people’s land to unsuspecting victims then leave them to their own devices. The end product of this is that the innocent buyers mourn their losses, and still have no one to turn to.

Imagine a civil servant who after several years in service retires then buys a land from his savings only to lose both the money and the land to the fraudulent activities of Omoniles. Tell me how those omoniles will ever make heaven even after they’ve repented of their sinful acts? If they do make heaven then it won’t be the same heaven I read about in the scriptures.

Thugs and military personnels are being employed by land grabbers in Nigeria daily to dispossess people of their lands. There have been instances where court rules in favour of a buyer and yet the land grabbers still go ahead to occupy the disputed land. They occupy such land with area boys who are mostly armed with machetes, clubs, cutlasses, knives and weapons of all sorts. Some even go the extra mile to employ diabolical means (Fadeyi Oloro take over). That is how unlawful these land grabbers have become, little wonder they are known in some quarters as Ajagungbaale

Another means they perpetrate their heinous crimes is by reselling land to multiple persons and yet feel on top of their game.

Some of the victims of Omoniles actually make several mistakes of their own which make them easy preys of these scam artists. Why would anyone want to buy a piece of land from just any member of a family who claims to be a representative without requesting or demanding to see the head of the family before any transaction can proceed?  Now that is clearly an error on the part of any prospective buyer

If the task force inaugurated to tackle the menace of Omoniles carry out their duties judiciously, it would see the activities of the land urchins reduced to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated.

The land grabbers whose hobby is dispossessing legitimate land owners of their properties are not only detrimental to the immediate communities they perpetrate their heinous crimes but are also a stigma to the government of the state that abhors them. It is therefore the responsibility of the government to nip the menace of the frivolous elements of our society in the bud, and find a lasting solution to the havoc they perpetrate which has been long overdue.

Omoniles demand money for every structure you want to erect on the land you bought from them even if the structure you are erecting is a mere shop. The situation is so critical that some people erect structures in the middle of the night when the world is fast asleep to avoid these land urchins. You would wake up in the morning to find out that there is a roof on a building that was roofless before you went to bed, then you begin to wonder if the roof was put up by witches.

Worse still these Omoniles many times perpetrate the evil with the help and support of traditional rulers who usually have their own share of the money made from the land transaction scam (Indeed this world is full of evil men).

To put it mildly the menace of Omoniles or poses a serious threat to the peace of the citizenry.

Is Lagos then doing enough to check the activities of these Omoniles?  Shouldn’t there have been an existing law promulgated to ensure that these unscrupulous elements in our society end up in jail for the atrocities they commit? I just hope the task force will not be made up of the Omoniles themselves.

If Ambode can effectively tackle the menace of Omoniles in Lagos state, it will be a huge plus to his administration as Lagosians will always remember for life and even at rapture.

Meanwhile, the Lagos state government have backed their words with action by dishing out the hotlines of the newly inaugurated task force set up to tackle the existing problem of the land grabbers.

Also, our correspondent has been able to verify its authenticity. The general public especially land owners who are at the mercy of these land grabbers a.k.a omoniles can now reach them via the following numbers;

09096667123, 09020085005 or you mail your complaint to omoonileTF@lagosstate.gov.ng

Please note, its only for people who own lands in Lagos state.

 

One comment

  1. Omo Oni Ile as they are referred to,transcends yoruba generations and their menace will follow yoruba till the end of time.l worked at federal survey in the field in early seventies,but i will refer you to land office in lagos state and others in yoruba states and mr.Femi Okunnu federal minister of works at that time, to shed more lights on the issue.

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