Oyo State Government, on Wednesday, announced plans to take over some abandoned structures and property constituting security threats and serving as hideouts to criminals in the state.
It, therefore, called on owners of such buildings to put them to use or risk the government taking them over.
The state’s Commissioner for Lands, Housing, Survey and Urban Development, William Akin-Funmilayo, gave the warning when he inspected De Castle Inn on Queen Elizabeth II Road, Total Garden-Gate Road in Ibadan, the state capital.
Akin-Funmilayo, who decried the rate at which miscreants and hoodlums had been using abandoned buildings as hideouts, said owners of such buildings who refused to do the needful must be ready to forfeit them to the state.
He added that the government would make proper use of the structures for the benefit of all residents of the state.
“I got information from the public and security agencies that this abandoned building is constituting security threat to this environment and that in the night, criminals and hoodlums usually hide there. They go on the streets to snatch telephones, bags, and other valuables from passers-by. Even in addition, it has become a home for illicit drug users whereby they trade in illicit drugs as well as smoke different kinds of things.
“We are here to confirm what we heard, which we have seen and this place has been abandoned for the past ten to 13 years. We are here to ensure the safety of the people living in this environment. So, we have seen for ourselves that this is completely an abandoned building. The government will work within the ambit of the law to take possession of the building to stop what is constituting a threat.
“We all remember the unfortunate incident that happened at Bodija. Nobody believed such a thing could happen over there. If the owner doesn’t want the building anymore, he should surrender it to the government.
“The ultimatum we issued is immediate. As I’m talking now, the owner should immediately put the building up for what it is meant for or else he or she will forfeit it. The state government will take over the building to prevent a threat to the security of lives and property of people living in this vicinity.
“If he is still interested in the building, he or she should put it to use immediately. Nobody can tell what will happen between now and tomorrow, so he or she should act with immediate effect. Official correspondence will be sent to the owner of the building. He or she should put the building to what use it was meant for; if he refuses, the government will take it over and use it in the best interest of the state people.
“I equally will extend this message to other owners of abandoned property in the state. If you have property that has been abandoned, kindly put them to the primary use they are meant for, or else the government will take them over. We cannot allow buildings not occupied or maintained to be left without government intervention.” He insisted.
Earlier, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, received an official report of the January 16, 2024 explosion at Old Bodija in Ibadan, the state capital.
The report, however, said three ‘persons of interest’ have been identified in connection with the cause of the unfortunate incident, adding that they will face the full wrath of the law based on the investigation carried out.
It will be recalled that five persons died, 77 others sustained injury and 55 houses were damaged during the explosion that rocked Aderinola Street, Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, Ibadan.
The report, which comprises findings of the Medical, Security and Engineering Teams, was submitted to Makinde, on Tuesday, at the Executive Chamber, Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the presentation of the report, the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, Fatai Owoseni (retd CP) said, “Three persons of interest have been identified in connection with the cause of the unfortunate incident, and they will face prosecution based on the investigation carried out.”