There is tension on Abiok Street, in the Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, after the street was allegedly renamed after a hotel in the area.
Punch Metro learnt that after attempts by community leaders to address the issue through letters to the council failed, some youths removed the signage of the hotel, identified as Latest D Hotel.
The action was said to have led to a clash between the youths and supporters of the owner of the hotel, leading to destruction of some property in the community.
Policemen from the Ojokoro division were said to have raided the street and arrested some of the culprits.
A Punch correspondent gathered that the hotel’s signage, which was removed by the youths, had since been returned as residents reportedly prepared for another showdown with the owner of the hotel.
A resident, who did not want to be identified, said the clash occurred on a Thursday.
He said, “On Thursday, October 19, some youths who were angry about the alleged compromise of some council officials, removed the signage of the hotel at the junction. They replaced it with that of Abiok Street. The action led to a fight and destruction of property. The police were brought in and many of the youths were arrested. They were released the following day.”
A community leader, Alhaji Jimoh Lawal, said Abiok Publicity Limited was the name of an outdoor advertising company he co-founded with another community leader, late Alhaji Kehinde Olasode.
He said the street was registered in the company’s name by the Ikeja Local Government Area in 1989, long before the creation of the Ojokoro council area.
He explained that Latest D Hotel was not located on Abiok Street to have warranted the change of name.
He said, “There was no notice; we were neither served nor invited, and no public statement was issued about the intention of the LCDA to change the name of the street. We woke up one day and saw that Abiok signage had been replaced with that of Latest D.
“I learnt that the exercise was carried out in a commando manner. We were even told that we would never get justice even if we take the case to Aso Rock Villa.
“The hotel in question is not on Abiok Street. The act is purely a case of oppression. We have gone to the police, talked to the Community Development Association and visited the council. They have not done anything about it.”
The Secretary of the community, Mr. S.O. Awoyinfa, said the council had promised to address the issue after another meeting.
“We had the meeting last week and they promised to remove the hotel’s name. We don’t want to take the law into our own hands because the youths are restive over the matter,” he said.
But the elder brother of the owner of the hotel, Chief Agbeleja Disu, said the matter was being resolved, adding that the hotel did not do anything wrong.
He said, “The case is not difficult. Latest D did not take over the street. Abiok is still the name of the street. It was because of the establishment of the hotel that the owner asked the council for a part of the street that was not occupied with houses. Abiok was just moved a little further.
“The DPO, community leaders and Abiok himself (Lawal) saw we did not take over the street. We want to tile the place and put streetlights there and that was why we were given that particular portion. We didn’t bring anything into this world and we wont take anything when we die. We didn’t want this matter to get this far until some thugs were used to create tension, which made the police to intervene. But the matter is being resolved.”
The Chairman of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Hammed Tijani, said he was expecting a report of the committee he set up to look into the case.
He said, “When the petition came in, I asked the Head of Administration, along with the legislative arm to handle the matter. I think they have met and resolved. I am expecting a report from the committee.”