When two elders decide to dance naked in the market, the role of a good journalist is to help them publicize it.
The announcement of lockdown procedures by the Federal Government on April 27, in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus led to a lot of unrest, increase in poverty rate and invariably, heightened increase in crime rates in the nation and especially in highly populated areas such as Lagos.
Residents in one of the most glamorous estates in Lagos state; Lekki also bore the consequences of the unrest in the state as their estates were invaded by miscreants, armed robbers, okada riders, squatters, hoodlums etc.
The stakeholders of the Lekki Residents Association (LERA), Chief Wole Akala, Mr. Paul Kogolo, and Mr. Kanny Awe reported that the invasion was as a result of the non-challant attitude of the Chairman of LERA, Mr. Kayode Otitoju, under whose leadership ,the estate security apparatus was disbanded and LERA office at the pavilion was closed which led to an influx of miscreants into the estate.
According to Accendolaw, the stakeholders’ solicitors, “my clients who could not fold their arms and watch their lives endangered, quickly formed a group to tackle the security situation, eradicate okada riders who posed security threats in the estate.
Accendolaw further mentioned that the timely intervention of the stakeholders in collaboration with the police in Maroko division, Lekki Phase 1, led to proper monitoring and ultimately resisting the miscreants within the estate.
The solicitors also said that due to Mr. Kayode’s attitude, the residents were living in fear, untold hardship and uncertainty prior to the intervention of the stakeholders who also took up the task to feed hundreds of residents for weeks.
“Due to your incompetence, lack of knowledge, impending security threat and lack of cohesion to ensure that peaceful residence, our clients have all done the afore mentioned and more. It is our understanding that prior to the participation of our clients, the residents of the estate were living in untold hardship, fear and uncertainty” Accendolaw said.
Mr. Kayode who was furious at the activities of the stakeholders mentioned on various platforms and on social media that the stakeholders were engaged in illegal businesses, incapable of raising their children responsibly, and are up to no good.
He said “As lofty as the activities of the ‘Lekki Stakeholders Forum’ are, the group lacks legitimacy as it does not operate within the official three (3) LERA Administrative and Regulatory Structures.
“LERA with its office and address properly situated at The LERA Pavilion on Admiralty Way,is the only recognised body by MDAs- Ministries, Departments and Agencies either at Local, State and Federal tiers of Government for any matter concerning Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1 Residents”
He further mentioned that the stakeholders were criminals, cultists and unworthy to make any contributions to the estate which they live in.
The argument became intense as one of the stakeholders expressed his displeasure via social forums.
He said, “a chairman of a whole estate as big as Lekki phase-1, closing down office and seizing the keys of 2 x hilux vehicles, for six good weeks, as if they are his personal properties. And upon calling on him to rise up to the situation of miscreants, he asked us to be feeding them and in case there’s chaos, we should go to Maroko police station to complain.”
“What if Maroko police station was closed down as you did with the Pavilion unilaterally without consulting the house that put you there, and even the elders in the Estate. Or don’t we have elders again in Lekki phase 1. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself ? General Idi Amin of Lekki phase-1?”
“Rather than see us in the Stakeholders forum as a partner in progress, you went about on a blackmail mission, calling us all sorts of names and using your usual social media platforms to castigate us.”
“The entire Estate was hijacked by hooligans, hoodlums & miscreants. We took up the challenge to spend our time, money & resources to protect Lekki phase-1 residents while you went to bed to sleep with your entire lieutenants and Lera staff.”
“The Lord Almighty will judge you accordingly. Just few weeks more and you shall no longer be LERA Chairman, all your atrocities will be exposed to the public at large“
The solicitor of the stakeholders who were greatly displeased and agitated by the allegations made by Mr. Kayode, have since written to him demanding that he retracts his statements and renders a public apology within 7 days.
“Our clients are not in any way interested in forming any parallel association but have exercised their right to associate freely in line with their fundamental rights. You have totally misconceived these steps taken by our clients. This has led you to publishing such weighty libelous statements against our clients.”
“Please note that our clients will seek legal redress with damages in the event that you fail to retract the said statements, render an apology letter within the next 7 days from the date of receipt of this letter without any further recourse to you.”
The letter by Accendolaw Solicitors written on behalf of the stakeholders to the LERA Chairman, Mr. Kayode Atitoju: