C of O, The Time Bomb

Oludele Sunday

Are you a proud C of O title holder? Your pride shall soon fade out when your children grow up to find out how you have been inconsiderate by obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy  to jeopardise their right of inheritance.

This article is in line with my previous articles on National Restructuring On Land Tenure: Abrogation of the Land Use Act which x-rayed the anti-people policies inherent in the act and calling for its abrogation.

I shall be addressing yet another flaw from the act in this edition. My main focus shall be on how the tenure system eroded freehold title and inhibit average Nigerians from passing their properties to their children as inheritances. The land use act is a time bomb that awaits the Nigerian future generations. If the status quo is not restructured, it’s explosion shall be devastating.

Nigeria, as we speak is confronted with a terrible menace on the appropriate, fair, unbiased or equitable means of redistribution of land to all its citizens. Land, being an indispensable natural resource from God to man has remained one means to innumerable litigations due to lack of people friendly policies of our governments. This deficiency is the bane of the challenges among various interests on land. Worst still, the land tenure also come under fire when it has to be regulated to discredit and disfranchise land inheritors, property owners and investors of freehold titles and perpetual rights of ownership.

DC. Thomson said “national frontiers have been more of a bane than boon for mankind. Our lawmakers specialise in anti-people laws thereby impacting Africa negatively. People’s welfare is largely neglected in the development architecture of our states and national democracy.

Infrastructural development has become the target of our governments. Majority see nothing wrong in this shift but that is not to say that the end result will be pleasant because the cup of disfranchisement shall be full someday and people shall fight vehemently to recover their rights if possible. This generation has accepted a battle ready law which the next generations will have to battle or peacefully leave with. If they choose they choose the peaceful path, they will learn to leave as tenants again by the virtue of the automatic reversal of the title to the real owner which in this case is the government. At this juncture, your children shall realize with pain in their heart that their father was a mare tenant on the properties he invested all his life’s resources while alive.

The kind of ill treatment that fellow Nigerians did not suffer or experience under colonialism is the order of the day in a democracy due to greed and lack of human feelings. To many Nigerians who derived a forever freehold title from their ancestral parcels of land, the land use act is unfair and hard to comprehend. Many perpetual rights of ownership have been lost to this unfair act thereby breeding acrimonious relationships between the government and the affected people. In any way, ignorance plays a remarkable role in this case. Those who are worshiping the act are doing so for lack of knowledge. Some of them actually know the risk in part but lack the audacity to question the government and demand for a relaxed and friendly policy.

… to be continued.


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