A Circular Road And Its Many Agonies


Implementation of 500 metres corridor on both sides of the Circular Road that cut across at least five local government areas of Oyo State, namely, Ona Ara, Akinyele, Egbeda, Oluyole and Ido, has rendered no fewer than 6,000 people homeless.

The ongoing demolition of structures has been carried out in two local government areas of Ona Ara and Oluyole and it affected no fewer than 12 communities while over 1,000 houses have been marked for demolition in Oluyole Local Government alone.

The highway setback otherwise known as corridor or setback was initially put at 75m but late Governor Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi administration ramped it up to 150m. The residents submitted that in compliance with the state town planning directives, they ensured a strict compliance but were shocked when Governor Seyi Makinde further stretched to 500m overnight.


Disturbed by the development, the affected residents submitted that they had a meeting with Governor Makinde and were assured that the issue would be addressed. The assurance of governor, according to them, rekindled.

However, barely few weeks after the meeting, the situation turned around as they woke up to the sound of bulldozers. The affected residents claimed to be on their beds when the armed security operatives stormed their residences.


“We were not allowed to take any of our belongings as we watched helplessly as our structures were turned to rubbles,” they said.


This development forced the affected residents across the two local government areas to stage peaceful protest on Sunday, displaying placards with various inscriptions such as ‘No more 150m setback’, No more Circular corridor, Gov Makinde come to our aid. They disclosed that some of the affected residents are yet to come out of the shock while some are dead.

One of the affected residents, the Baale of Onigbinde, Chief Fatai Olalude Onigbinde, said, “What we laboured for in our earlier days have been turned to rubble. It was a great shock. The pain is unbearable. We approached the so-called contractors but we were shocked by their response. They said that they wanted to enforce the 500m setback rule.

“We have been going round all places where such projects are being carried out. There are houses by the both sides of the Lagos/Ibadan expressway and the setback is not up to 500m. Why circular road is own different?

“We are aware of the construction of the circular road and the 150m, not 500m setback. 500m setback on both sides will affect close to one million houses. The protest is aimed at drawing the attention of the government to our plight. We are pleading with the government to consider us. We have built houses already. Many of us have been living here in the past ten to 20 years. We all know the economic situation in the Country. There is no money. Some families are finding it difficult to eat. We are begging them to please consider us. We are all poor people.

We have met with Governor Makinde. He came down to this place on an on-the-spot assessment. He assured us that there would not be any problem but with the present development, the problem has come. We don’t know what to do again, some of us are sleeping outside now.

We sent emissaries to the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun. He assured us that our case will be looked into but nothing has been done.”

Also, Mr Abiola Ismail, a resident at Aba Otun Idi Ose near Odeyale, pleaded with the government to be sensitive to their plights. “Governor Makinde should have mercies on us especially on the issue of 500m setback with the present economic situation. We are not as strong as we were when we built these houses. Majority of us are okada riders. We managed to build one or two rooms’ apartment that have been earmarked for demolition. We are only appealing to the government to be merciful on us.”

Another resident, Alhaji Dada Moruf, said Aba Ogo area going to Gbangba to Adepo side. These are all areas that the governor claimed that the circular road extended to. Therefore, we are appealing because initially what we heard was that it was 75m setback but later on it got to 150m. We are not saying that the governor should not take as much as what is on the paper which initially is 500m. but then the extension of the corridor to 150m is alarming. So many people are dying. Some are dead. Many of them are between 50 and 60 years upward. Most of them still have their children in schools. We know that our governor is a listening one. He should please listen to the masses.


Governor Makinde should temper justice with mercy. He should allow 150m status quo to stay. Some people that are affected with the initial 150m setback have resigned to fate but now that it has been increased to 500m, thousands of others will be affected. The figure is alarming.

“We are aware of the government’s plan to compensate the affected residents but we are yet to receive any document to this effect. Some of the affected residents were issued fake land documents by the so called government officials. Nobody could claim to have original land documents except those that are not affected with 150m of a thing.

“We will not say that government is trying to outsmart people because we know there is an issue over the land. We know that land belongs to the government but the fact remains that a listening governor should be sensitive to the plight of the people. We in the rural areas voted for him not the people at Bodija. We stood in the sun, resisted pressure and voted for him.

“If we are exiled from the land, I wonder who will vote for his party in 2027 general election. He should just please show mercy. Most of the people that are here are either teachers or artisans. We do not have millionaire here.”

Alhaja Risikatu Raji, a resident of Origbo area said, We are the one affected by the corridor policy. Many of us took loan from LAPO and SEAP to build our houses. The loans are yet to be paid back. Now, the government has ordered the demolition of the same houses. Where and who do we turn to? It is now a double loss.

“We beg Makinde to please have mercy on us so that our husbands will not become another persons husbands likewise our children. There are some landlords that it took them 8 years to put up a one bedroom apartment. It took me 10 years to build two bedroom apartments. We don’t have anybody to turn to. They should go ahead with the road and leave the issue of setback. Many of us are widows with no means of the livelihood.

“Many of our husbands are labourers to Egedes. We in Ona Ara are not Egedes. We are legitimate voters. we are not aware of the construction of Circular Road as of the time of purchase.

Another resident, Mrs Ramota Quasim, said, ‘I am 71 years old. My son built the house that has been marked for demolition for me. We got the wind of the demolition 10 years ago but we were told that it would not reach our side but now it has reached our side,

Government should overlook our mistakes, if there is any. They should not allow us to walk naked on the streets.”


Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Williams Akin Funmilayo has insisted that structures within the corridor of the Circular Road will be pulled down.

He said the Circular Road is in four phases. Lagos-Ibadan, Ife-Ibadan,, Ife-Ibadan and Ilorin-Ibadan, adding the road encircled Ibadan that is why it is called Circular Road.

“The exercise is not spontaneous because residents along the corridors were notified before the commencement of the exercise.

The structures that have approved documents would be enumerated and duly compensated,” he said.


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