From: Bianca Iboma
Residents of Igbin-Ojo 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 alleged land grabbers.
The call was made in a statement issued by the community leader, (Baale) Ademola Tiwalade Adisa, a copy of which was made available to Daily Sun.
Adisa alleged that former chairman of the Ewekoro Local Government Area, Mr. Dele Soluade, came into their land on November 17, 2017, with a group of people and a bulldozer and invaded the land.
Narrating the people’s experience in the hands of the alleged land grabbers, Adisa said, “When the news got to me, I hurriedly ran with some elders to see what exactly was going on, and I asked him why he was invading the land. He told me it was governor’s order and brought a paper he described as government paper.
“Also, he came on November, 24 and December 8, respectively, 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 because earlier, a large portion of our community land had been acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as we were informed, for a proposed Cargo Airport and we have not received any compensation in this regard till date”, he explained.
Adisa further alleged that the former chairman brought out that same paper he described as government paper for them to sign.
Narrating their ordeal on December 8, Adisa continued, “When Mr. Soluade came again, with some men of Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), who were heavily armed, they forcefully arrested some of us and pushed us into a waiting van and drove off over a fairly long distance in a thick bush.
“He forced me and my elder brother to sign an undertaking at gun point. 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, and in line with his further advise, we have reported the matter to the nearest Police post and have confirmed the status of our land with the Ogun State Government, since we had surveyed the land before the unlawful entry and illegal mapping out exercise of Mr. Dele Soluade.
“We have just obtained a land information certificate dated 13th December 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 the Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to come to our aid before Soluade wipes our communities out in his desperation to grab our lands.”
But when contacted on the issue, Hon. 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 Governor Ibikunle’s instruction, saying the land in question is part of the cargo airport project being embarked upon by the state government.
“Our action was on the governor’s prompting. It was the governor that sent me. And the project is a Federal Government’s own. Anybody who feels aggrieved should see the governor, not me,” Soluade said.