By Bianca Iboma
Hundreds of Igbin-Ojo residents and seven other communities in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State have appealed to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to save them from the activities of land grabbers. The call was made by Baale Ademola Tiwalade Adisa.
He alleged that a former chairman of the local government, Mr. Dele Soluade, on November 17, 2017, came with a group of people and invaded their land: “When the news got to me, I ran with some elders to see what exactly was going
“I asked him why he was invading the land. He told me it was on governor’s order and brought out a paper he described as government paper.
“He came again on November 24 and December 8, with a larger group of people and they were mapping out some portions of our land.
“We had to inquire from him why he was encroaching into our land. This is because earlier, a large portion of our community land was acquired by the Federal Government as we were informed, for a proposed Cargo Airport and we have not received any compensation in this regard till date.”
Adisa alleged that the former chairman brought out the same paper he described as government paper for them to sign: “When Mr. Soluade came again with some men of Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), who were heavily armed, they arrested some of us and drove off over a fairly long distance in a thick bush.
“He forced me and my elder brother to sign an undertaking at gunpoint. I had to sign it because we were scared. Nobody knew our whereabouts, and I had to sign the undertaking, stating that we would not disturb him anymore on our land anytime he works there.
“As law-abiding citizens, we have contacted our lawyer who advised us against violence. We have reported the matter to the police have confirmed the status of our land with the state government, since we had surveyed the land before the unlawful entry and illegal mapping out exercise.
“We obtained a land information certificate dated December 13, 2017, which confirms clearly that our entire community land covered by the perimeter survey plan is free completely from all known acquisitions.
“We, therefore, appeal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to come to our aid before he wipes our communities out in his desperation to grab our lands.”
But when contacted on the issue, Soluade laughed off the communities’ claims, describing the allegations as “unfounded.” He said he never invaded the communities’ land, insisting that his action was based on Ibikunle’s instruction, saying the land in question is part of the cargo airport project being embarked upon by government:
“Our action was on the governor’s prompting. It was the governor that sent me. And the project is Federal Government’s. Anybody who feels aggrieved should see the governor, not me.”