Thursday, April 18, 2024

Farmers’ Protest Seizure of Farmlands In Ondo

Farmers from 24 communities in Ondo West Local Government Area of the Ondo State have continued their week-long protest over take over of their farmlands by the State Government.

Their farmlands were reportedly leased to a Chinese firm.

The farmers, who blocked the Benin-Ore highway, listed some of the affected communities and camps to include Aosho, Ulugba, Adejori, Kabiyesi, Lafa, Oloruntedo, Obadore Yinka, Keseomi, Lomofe, Gbekelu, Langbodo, , Abuja, Lopaun , Sahara , Aba Cocoa, Topeu, Bolorunduro , Iyolope and Yemisi.

They said they are into cultivation of cocoa, palm oil, cashew and other cash crops.

The protesters said it was inhumane for the State Government to hijack their source of livelihood from them.

Inscriptions on the placards read in parts “No Farmers, no Nation”; “We are not slaves”; “Don’t turn us to kidnappers and bandits”; “Let the farmers breathe” and “We are farmers, not terrorists,” among others.

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A former Secretary of the Ondo West Local Council, Alhaji Oluwole Bashiru, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, begged Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to correct the wrongs perpetrated by his predecessor.

Bashiru said: “We have been there for many years. We have no issue with government so, why this? If they want us to pay money we will pay. We have maternity centre, public primary and secondary schools . If these facilities and our farmlands are destroyed, what will be our fate?,” he said.

Youth Leader in one of the farm settlements, Phillip Akinbamijo, said they have been seeing strange persons in the affected communities, claiming to be working for a Chinese company meant to clear the farmlands.

He said: “The past government has already stolen our land and sold it to Chinese and recently they have started pursuing us from the land. We have no where to go and eat if we are taken away .

“We are beginning the Governor Aiyedatiwa-led government to reconsider us and give us back the land. We are ready to give back whatever money the government has taken from the Chinese company,”he stated.

Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo thanked the farmers for carrying out a peaceful protest and asked them to document their grievances and attach pictorial evidence for proper action to be taken.

The traditional ruler urged the farmers to to tread the path of peace for the issue to be addressed.

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