The National Union of Road Transport Workers, Ojokoro branch, has accused the developer of a mall (Just Rite) of encroaching on its land in Abule Egba, Lagos State.
Members of NURTW at a news conference on Monday said the piece of land was provided by the state government in the place of their park taken over by government for its beautification programme.
Chairman of the union, Mr. Abiodun Ogunlade, said building a mall on the land was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the use of the motor park by the drivers’ union.
Ogunlade called on the authorities to quickly intervene to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
He said, “The NURTW, Ojokoro Local Government Authority unit will like to bring to your notice that a piece of land given to the unit has been encroached upon by an individual who has subsequently erected a structure on it even though it is under high tension wire where structures are not allowed.
“We also want to state here that we resorted to notifying the public of our plight as the developer has ignored all the entreaties to cede what belongs to us.
“In addition, we do not intend to take laws into our hands hence we are calling on the appropriate authorities to prevail on the developer to vacate the premises.”
Branch Secretary of the union, Mr. Bola Olayemi, said they had written an SOS to Governor Babatunde Fashola and the Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development to intervene.
He said because they had not been allowed to carry out their activities at the park, traffic jams had become common in the area as vehicles were now parked indiscriminately on the road.
“It will be a big slap on the masses if an individual can have his way over about 5,000 people conducting their daily activities from the said place. Again, joblessness will be the order of the day and hoodlums may take over Abule Egba and its environs,” Olayemi said.
When PUNCH Metro visited the mall, the developer was said to be unavailable.
But a contractor, who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak for him, said the developer should be praised instead of being vilified.
He said, “Here is a man who means well for the community. Where was the union when this man was sand filling the whole place.
“Before now, if you came here, you would run back because the whole place was submerged by floods. Some areas are swampy. This man has spent a lot of money to put this place in good order. It is now the union is coming to claim it.
“I do not hold brief for him. I even learnt the governor had visited this place. He is likely to be the one to inaugurate the mall.
“As for the high tension wire the union is talking about, the developer has awarded contract to Power Holding Company to take care of that.”
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Parastatals Monitoring, Mr. Gboyega Salvador-Adebayo, told our correspondent that the developer of the mall breached his agreement with the government.
He said the developer had gone beyond where he was asked to erect the mall.
Salvador-Adebayo said, “There are two high tension wires there and his approval did not cover him beyond the first high tension wire.
“The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had served him notices twice but he seemed not ready to cooperate. Why it is becoming difficult for him to do the needful is still baffling me. We agree that the shopping mall is good for the community but we asked him to balance it up with the interest of the union so that the area meant for the NURTW will not be encroached upon