Residents of Otokiti Housing Estate, Lokoja have cried out over an attempted conversion of their Recreation Centre to less glorious purposes. They accused officials of the state bureau of land development of illegally allocating the centre to private developers for pecuniary gains.
The youth of the estate made the allegations uesterdah during a peaceful protest at the estate gate. The youths in their numbers gathered at the gate and temporarily prevented vehicular movement to and fro the edifice. They alleged that a foundation was being dug on their football field.
Earlier, their parents under the platform of Meme-Otokiti Housing Estate Residents Association had dispatched a petition to the state Governor, Yahaya Bello urging for his intervention in the matter.
The petition dated January 19, 2020 and captioned “Passionate appeal and save our soul on the resolutions of the housing estate”, alleged that plots of land being used as Recreation Centre/ Football field and another reserved for clinic were recently being threatened by activities of the bureau of lands.
“It was on the 24th of December 2020, that officials of the state department of lands were in Otokiti Housing Estate to plot the above mentioned lands on the orders of the Director-General Lands, who placed beacons to take over those plots of lands in the estate.”
The residents urged the Governor to call the officials to order and direct the retention of the plots of land for clinic and recreation centre as envisaged in the estate’s master plan. They also sought for “the approval of a clinic, as it is only the Otokiti Housing Estate that does not have a health care facility amongst other housing estates in Lokoja.”
The petition was signed by Tijani Mohammed, Chairman and six other members of the estate Executive in addition to 16 members of the community’s Council of Elders.
The Otokiti estate, consisting of about 300 housing units made up of 1-3 bedroom flats was built in 2005 and allocated to civil servants on owner-occupier bases by the Governor Ibrahim Idris administration. It was the first among the several housing projects constructed by the administration across the state