A green place in the heart of congested Surulere

Surulere Ngreen4ow! hGreen111ad never before heard of the Tejuosho Farmer’s Cooperative at the end of Tejuosho Rd, down past NTA Lagos Channel 10. The land under cultivation, 150 hectares in all, actually belongs to the Federal Ministry of Sports and Culture and not the state government, as I had initially been led to believe. As you can see, the National Theatre is actually within hailing distance but impossible to reach on foot from where we stood because of the bush and swamp in between. This was prime real estate as wasted as the stadium itself – as, indeed, would have been the fate of the land we were standing on now but for the initiative of the farmers.

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According to Comrade Musa Sakaba, vice-chair of the Surulere Farmers’ Association, the farm itself has been in existence for 45 years and currently supplies fresh vegetables – we saw lettuce, ugwu, spring onions – to 15 local governments in Lagos State, as well as Shoprite and two hotels: Federal Palace and Eko Meridien. This would seem to confer some sort of legitimacy on them although Comrade Sakaba was perfectly willing to admit that they had no rights to the land as such. However, this didn’t stop them from reaching out to Surulere local government for help. He even said that at one point the Hon Femi Gbajabiamilla actually wanted to help them drill a desperately needed borehole but nothing came of that. In the meantime, they are forced to use makeshift wells.

green5There also appeared to be some tgreen1ension between the farmers and the retired railway workers who acquired plots on the other side of the farm during a previous administration’s monetization exercise. You could see their point. Properly ‘developed’ it would have made an exclusive gated community in the heart of the city while at the same time cordoned off from the congestion that was just fifteen minutes’ walk away. But then much depends on one’s world-view, not to say one’s circumstances. Surulere Now! tends to the green, and the farm was a refreshing sight in the otherwise concrete jungle that is modern Lagos.

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Surulere Now! wishes the farmers another 45 years and would implore our local government to provide the borehole that would make their life easier, irrespective of who owns the land. After all, they can’t take the borehole with then if and when they are forced to move. And, no doubt, incoming tenants will also find it useful.

 All photos © Don Barber
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3 Comments

  1. September 30, 07:00 #1 Capt.

    Your magazine provides good exposition of suru lere and its activities. More knowledge of happenings and places hitherto taken for granted. Kudos to the editor. Pls keep it up.

  2. September 30, 22:52 #2 admin Author

    Many thanks.

  3. June 15, 00:39 #3 dampak judi sabung ayam

    Good article! We are linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the great writing.

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