Airport: Displaced Ekiti farmers protest unpaid compensation

No fewer than 100 farmers whose farmlands were affected by the construction of Ekiti cargo airport on Monday protested at the Governor’s Office in Ado Ekiti over their unpaid compensation.

The placards-carrying farmers, who came from about five affected communities namely; Igbogun, Afao, Araromi Obo, Aso Ayegunle and Igbemo Ekiti, expressed dissatisfaction with the refusal of the government to pay the compensations despite promising them.

The spokesman for the farmers and the Edemon of Igbemo Ekiti, Chief Awe Ojo, said that nothing had been heard from the state government after their meeting with the governor in June 2023 where they were promised succour within two weeks.

Ojo said We have it on good authority that after we met with the Governor in June, nothing has been done so far because some government officials are out to frustrate our efforts to get what rightly belongs to us”.

“We know the governor, Biodun Oyebanji, as a promise keeper and for him not to have done as promised means that the story circulating that some fraudulent government officials who are in charge of disbursing our entitlements are hiding the files and documents for their selfish interests,” he said.

A teary-eyed farmer, Elder Peter Oso, said that about 11 persons among them had died, saying, “Apart from the dead ones, so many others are on their sick beds and have no means to settle their bills since their source of livelihood has been destroyed.

“The governor met us in June and we thought our prayers had been answered because he promised us two weeks. Now the two weeks have turned to four months”, he said.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kolawole Ajobiewe, who attended to the protesting farmers, called for calm, promising that the matter was already on the table of the governor.

Ajobiewe, who said efforts were on to address the issue, said, “Let me address our fathers and mothers to be calm. The governor is aware and I want to assure us all that very soon, there will be news of joy”.

He said that the date of a meeting on the issue would be communicated to the farmers before Friday.

Recall that farmers whose farms, lands and houses were destroyed during the commencement of the airport project have been protesting since 2021, accusing the state government of withholding their entitlements.


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