Ondo Farmers Protest En masse Over Eviction Plan

Farmers in over 19 villages in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State have protested  en masse against the alleged plans by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to drive them out of their villages for a private firm owned by a Chinese company.
Over 50,000 protesters, the majority of them are farmers who live primarily off of farm products and cash crops.
Local farmers claimed they had lived in the villages for more than 100 years and had inherited the communities from their ancestors during a protest on Sunday.
They said that the state government issued them an eviction notice after learning that their land had been sold to a foreign private firm. They were armed with placards displaying various inscriptions.
The leader of the community, Olalani Ibidapo, said the villagers who are all into the farming business were saddened by the alleged eviction from their land.
Mr Ibidapo explained that the decision of the government led by Mr Akeredolu to evict them was unacceptable and could lead to problems and crime for the youths in the village.
A youth leader in the village, Mr Isaacs Akinserinwa said they are aware that the government plans to sell off the land to foreigners.
He explained that proceeding with the plans would lead to suffering for the villagers, pleading that the government should rescind its alleged decision.
Others who spoke alleged that the action of the government to evict them from their lands has led to the death of some farmers whose farmland had been allegedly destroyed by newly brought-in occupants.
They urged President Bola Tinubu to intervene on their behalf and persuade Governor Akeredolu to reverse his decision to evacuate them from their villages.
Akin Olotu, Governor Akeredolu’s Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture and Agribusiness, reacted by refuting the villagers’ claims.
Mr. Olotu asserted that Governor Akeredolu wanted things to work in the state’s citizens’ best interests and was not seeking to punish anyone.
He continued by saying that surveyors from the government will be dispatched to confirm the precise location and that anyone who might be impacted would be notified.
Ada Peter

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