OGBOMOSO: Anxiety as over 2, 000 illegal occupiers of school premises face fury of bulldozers today

OGBOMOSO: Anxiety as over 2, 000 illegal occupiers of school premises face fury of bulldozers today

Jeremiah OYELEKE

Today, December 1, is the day slated for the demolition of illegal structures on public schools’ premises – primary and secondary – in Ogbomoso metropolis, Oyo state.

Recall Oyo state government expressed disapproval against illegal occupation of school lands characterized by shops (containers) and artisans’ workshops shielding schools and providing cover for miscreants and errant students.

Thus, ultimatums were given to trespassers to vacate such lands failure which the structures will be pulled down.


The Ministry of Environment commenced the exercise in Ibadan, the state capital, recently just as it is learnt the operation had extended to some other towns like Saki in Oke-Ogun axis, which witnessed the roars of the bulldozers earlier this week.

ogbomosoinsightonline.com reported last week the exercise would shift to Ogbomoso Friday (today) aftermath the issuance of deadline of December 1 to the illegal occupants, that is quoting some environmental officers seen (verbally) disseminating the information order at Oke-Owode area.

Also, in the week some market and artisans’ leaders whom government reached out to on the matter reportedly inspected schools with such illegal structures with notification to schools’ heads that the demolition exercise would hit Ogbomoso on December 1.

Shops being removed at Ori-Oke Community Grammar School yesterday

Investigations by Ogbomoso Insight meanwhile revealed nothing less that 2, 000 persons may be affected in the city with the heaviest concentration at Oke-Owode axis.

Ogbomoso Grammar School, the oldest secondary school in the community and the other two secondary schools that came out of it following the de-articulation policy of Governor Rashidi Ladoja administration in 2003 as well as the School of Science, sit on large expanses of lands (belonging originally to the former) on either sides of the road; nonetheless, the unoccupied parcels of land are still pretty enormous on which have sprung various business outfits including shops of various sizes (made of containers and woods), artisans’ workshops, food sellers’ joints, drinking bars, block makers’ yards, palm kernel oil extractors and so on. This is aside those who erected their shops and workshops directly on the front demarcations of the schools.

Evacuated lands at Ori-Oke Community Grammar School yesterday

“The numbers of shop owners on either sides will be over 1,800,” a shop owner on Ogbomoso Grammar School lands, Adetunji Idowu, attempted to give an estimate while speaking with Ogbomoso Insight.

Some other schools faced with the menace include Ori-Oke Community High School, Nurudeen Grammar School, Masifa D.C. Basic School with an estimate of close to 200 persons to be affected in these other schools.

Occupied portions of Ogbomoso Grammar School/Owode Community Grammar School land that are feared if left fallowed might become dens of criminals

Some were meanwhile seen evacuating their shops amid lamentations in effort to beat the deadline. “This development is grievous, our source of livelihood is gone. Where shall I start now?” A shop owner seen demolishing his shop at Ori-Oke Community High School bemoaned.

Adeniji Gbenga, a vulcanizer by the fence of DC Basic School, Orita-Naira, Masifa also noted, “The order is too harsh,” while begging the state government, “They should please rescind the directive, where shall we relocate to? No alternative.”

Many others said it is bad a New Year’s gift, with a shop owner, who however refused to mention his name, saying, “Will our vacating the land make students to be more serious?”

This is as a resident behind Owode Community Grammar School, Paul Adegoke, asked whether the unused land of the school towards Egbeji Junction (which is quite extensive) will be put to productive use if the present occupiers are made to leave, expressing fear if eventually it is overgrown with bushes it might become dens of criminals, which he noted would pose danger to residents in the area.

In the meantime, fears are heightened over the extent the bulldozers or excavators will go.

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