Lagos — Some residents of Ejigbo in Lagos State, on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest, rejecting the move by the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to build a cemetery in their domains.
The residents, bearing different placards, marched to the secretariat of the local council, asking the authorities to rescind the decision to convert portions of land used as playground to burial playground.
The protesters were mainly residents of Morning Star Street and its environment, in Ejigbo.
According to them, the portions of land have been used as a football pitch in the community.
They said if the government would make use of the land, it should be for building schools or hospitals and not a burial ground.
According to them, the healthcare centre and school which they attend are too far off from them.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: "We no want burial ground in Morning Star"; "We need playground, not burial ground"; "Local Government abandoned school and health centre for a cemetery," among others.
Mr. Sola Adebowale, one of the residents, said: "We reject the move totally because this would affect us in terms of development.
"Think of a cemetery here, there would not be any economic activity.
"But when you talk of health, what we really want is something that would bring development to our area. For instance, school either primary or secondary school.
"The only primary school we have here can't be less than three kilometers from us.
"So, we think that if at all the government wants to do anything here, it should be something that would bring development to the community."
The council defended its decision, saying it was in fulfillment of one of its functions as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where the establishment of the cemetery was conferred to the local government.
The Information Officer of the council, Kunle Oladele, in a chat with our correspondent, said the council would continue to take the issue lightly with the residents even as he hinted that the residents had earlier petitioned the state government.
"We have not violated any law in what the council is doing.
"They are talking about schools or hospitals.
"We have been doing that but a cemetery must be located somewhere.
"If it is not there, it could be anywhere."