Sunday 2 July 2023

Land Dispute: Tension Builds Between Ex-Osun PDP Secretary And Iree RTEAN Members Over Plans To Relocate Motor Park

Residents of Iree, Boripe local government, are getting set for some major tension as members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN)  in the town and Chief Yinka Adeojo lock horns.

Chief Adeojo, a politician and businessman, who is an indigene of the town, has obviously shown that he is ready to battle it out with the commercial drivers.

What has stood as a bone of contention is a piece of land on Iree-Ila Road opposite Post Office.

Members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the town, who had used the piece of land in question as a motor park since 2010, have been sent packing and they are still there only because of the efforts being made to fight it out.

Faremi Ikeola , Administration and General Services ,Boripe North Local Government Development Authority, Iree, in a letter signed on behalf of the  Head of LG Administration, which was dated June 19,2023, has ordered the commercial drivers to henceforth not use the piece of land as motor park.

It was gathered that they had gotten the approval to make use of the piece of land thirteen years ago via a letter made available to them by  A.O Fatoye  which was dated May 19,2011 and signed on behalf of the chairman of Boripe local government.

The affected commercial drivers are therefore burning with anger, and they are of a considered opinion that ‘there’s more to this than meets the eyes.

Pressmen learned that the decision to stop the commercial drivers from using the said piece of land as motor park was taken during a  ‘stakeholder meeting’ citing the bank robbery recorded  in the  town in  2021 and the need to make an enabling environment available for the affected commercial banks to reopen their branches in the town.

The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) members have however asserted that their representative at the meeting, Mr. Saka Shehu  played into the hands of  those who had surreptitiously planned to force them  to leave the place in order  to satisfy  their personal interest.

The commercial drivers have not only picked holes in the  ‘line of argument’  presented by the Iree Progressive Association, IPA leaders but have also pointed fingers at the IPA President, Mr. Oluwole Taiwo and Chief Yinka Adeojo, a former Osun state PDP Secretary while laying the blame for the rising tension in the town at Adeojo’s door.

 The commercial drivers have also  urged Governor Ademola Adeleke to intervene and save them from losing their ‘source of livelihood’.

‘We will like to urge Governor Ademola Adeleke to caution  Chief Yinka Adeojo, the governor is a father figure to all, we are not politicians, we are commercial drivers , yes some may have sympathy for PDP, APC or even Accord Party , that is not relevant to us.

We have more than hundred people who have been putting food on the table because this motor park has been up and running, if you say we should leave this place what will happen to us? Mr. Adebagbo Amos, who is the Deputy Chairman of the RETEAN in the town, asked?

RETEAN. Chairman , Mr. Adeosun Sunday also told newsmen that they took a decision to oppose the idea of ‘relocating’ the motor park because they had not only picked holes in what was presented as reasons for coming up with such a proposal but also because it was extremely discriminatory.

We started using the piece of land in question as motor park more than a decade ago, Chief Yinka Adeojo, who is the Olu Omo of Iree land  , came to us that the place had been sold to  him by the chiefs and we told him that we would not leave, and this gave birth to a legal battle.

We won the court case and the Ikirun High court in Suit Number:  HIK/4/2012 even awarded  N10,000 costs against Adeojo, now you are claiming that because there was a robbery incident   in 2021, we should no longer use the place as our motor park.

The person, who represented us at the meeting is one of my predecessors, Mr. Saka Sheu, we won the court case when he was the chairman, how will he now support anyone that wants us to relocate?

He is an illiterate and he was only given the page containing the signature line. Mr. Saka simply played into the hands of the land- grabbers.

We have more than 100 members and no one should suggest the idea of relocating us from this place please.  

Now, back to the issue of their line of argument, you want a motor park relocated because it is located not far from the commercial banks.   In Iragbiji , our neighbor , there was a robbery incident at the  WEMA Bank branch in Alabi omo and they  are back to business, the okada riders are still there.

In Olonkoro, OgoOluwa areas , Osogbo, you will find branches of commercial banks located near motor parks or  that of okada riders.  In Ilorin,  the building housing the most popular night club; Oxygenation  has commercial banks on all sides.

  Let us even assume that we consider the reasons given as plausible , which one poses security threat between our motor park that is eleven buildings away from the commercial banks and  the Oluomo Shopping Complex where there are business entities including a filling station, salon,  a game center, a  business offering the services of washing and cleaning clothes, uniforms, and different types of fabric and others.

It was even alleged that the robbers had commandeered one of the cars at the car wash section which they used to leave the town when the banks were attacked.

Can someone, who is not our member,  park  his vehicle at our motor park without being questioned? the answer is ‘no’ , but someone may claim to have been there to wash his car or say he would like to barb his hair or play game and easily leave there to rob the commercial bank which is the next building.

Unless they want to simply insinuate that we are the robbers, there is no tenable reasons to single us out and say we should leave.

 I know that Governor Adeleke will not allow injustice because some of our members are already of a considered opinion that Chief Adeojo is planning to get what the court denied him through the backdoor.

Immediately after the PDP won the gubernatorial election last year, he had visited our motor park and he had come with a measuring tape for measurement , he was  accompanied by  his friend, Tunde Akinpelu.

We urge the governor to caution the local government officials and others who are planning to send us packing ostensibly at the instance of those interested in the piece of land, which is even a setback, I don’t know when chiefs started selling setbacks that belong to the government’ he said.

Efforts made to get Chief Adeojo’s reaction on Saturday night failed as his mobile number was not reachable-

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