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The monarch of Ondo leads a rally against farmer eviction.



ANGRY farmers in Ilua village, Ondo West Local Government Area, Ondo State, mounted a huge protest over the weekend against the state government’s purported selling of their cocoa plantations and other farmlands to foreign corporations.

Oba Olalani Ibidapo, the traditional monarch of Ilua, led the demonstrators.

The protesting farmers held posters with messages such as ‘This is another slavery,’ ‘We say no to the devastation of our cocoa crops,’ and so on. ‘No Farmers, No Nation,’ ‘We don’t want to steal, farming is our profession,’ ‘Aketi should not sell our lands to Chinese,’ ‘They should leave us here to farm, we have nowhere to go,’ ‘Cocoa farm is our livelihood, don’t chase us out,’ ‘Cocoa farm is what we live on, don’t sell the lands to China,’ ‘Cocoa farm is what we live on, don’t

“There were some people who came to our villages and started erecting signposts that the state government has sold our farmlands and villages to Chinese and Indian companies,” Oba Ibidapo told reporters.

“They claimed that the state government had issued a notice requiring us to leave our farms and villages because the companies wanted to move in and take over our farms and villages.”

“We’ve been here for over a century, and we’ve only done farming.” Ilua, Laoso, Adejori, Logunofe, Keseomi, Obadore, Obakele, Ilua 2, Kangidi, Oloruntedo, Abayemisi, and Magbaralewon are among the villages I represent.

“We are protesting this policy, and we also ask Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to take a look at our situation here.”

“However, I want the state government to understand that if they insist on evicting us, there will be a problem.” Many victims would become criminals.”

Mr Akinbami Philip, chairman of the Youths of Laje village, Laoso District, Ondo West, also spoke: “We are begging our governor to rescind this policy and order.”

“We have graduates who have farms here; we want the government to leave so that we can work on our farms.” This is where our families eat.”

One of the impacted farmers, Ademola Ajibola, a Physics graduate, told reporters that he decided to get into farming after being unable to find work in the city.

The quit notice is a forgery, according to the government of Ondo.

When asked to comment on the purported ejection of the farmers, Akin Olotu, the governor’s Senior Special Assistant (Agric and Agribusiness), refuted the claims.

According to Olotu, the state administration did not give such a quit notice and did not sell lands to anyone, including international corporations.

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