Ekiti Airport Saga: Farmers talk tough, takes protest to Oyebanji for compensation …accuses former governor, Ojuawo, Awotiku, others


By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti

Things go other way today as Farmers whose lands were affected by the ongoing Ekiti Airport Project on Monday staged a protest at the Governors office premises in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.


The farmers drawn across all the towns and villages of Igbemo, Orun, Afao, ijan, Igbogun, Bolorunduro, Iwajo, Aso and Ago Aduloju comprising of Ado, Irepodun/Ifelodun and Gbonyin local governments respectively.

The aged farmers thronged the Governor’s office to appeal to Governor Abayomi Oyebanji to please come to their aid and pay the compensation promised them by the government.

The protesters converged around 9:00.am with placards with words: “Fayemi Lied to Us, Oyebanji Please Save Our lives, The Airport Project Took Our livelihood”, amongst others to drive home their requests.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved farmers, High Chief Awe Ojo, the Edemo of Igbemo land frowned at the insensitivity of ex-governor Kayode Fayemi whom he accused of shortchanging majority of the farmers affected by the project.

“Fayemi during the inauguration even confirmed that Majority of us have not been paid our entitlements, very few of us received the money promised after the meeting and since then the rest of us have been totally neglected. Fayemi promised to pay remaining money but unfortunately we don’t know what happened to it before he left office”

Chief Edemo also maintained that the affected farmers are more in numbers than those that came out today but majority who are old and aged cannot make the tiring journey to Ado Ekiti.

“We are also here on behalf of those old men and women who could not join us today due to their failing health. It is not until they die that they should receive what is rightfully theirs, we know Governor Abayomi Oyebanji to be a man with a kind heart and a listening and that is why we are here today to appeal to him to please come to our aid.”

Other members of the affected communities also expressed their hope that the Governor will surely attend to their demands.

They accused AVM Ojuawo and Awotiku of shortchanging them in the process and stalled all their efforts to see the governor. The Edemo who spoke in Yoruba lamented that some people acted fraudulently while serving as intermediaries between the government and the farmers.

“Ojuawo and Awotiku were not sincere in their dealings with us, they inserted some unknown names and certified them to collect some money we want the general public to know that we don’t know such persons none of us answers PO, AZ or ZT in our midst. It was a fraudulent act perpetrated by the those who served as intermediaries between us and the government” the Edemo concluded.

Addressing the protesters, the Chief executive secretary for Land and Housing Mr.Adedayo Olajide appeased the farmers while assuring them that the Governor Mr. Oyebanji is aware of their predicament and ready to attend to their needs. He also assured the farmers of the state government readiness to ensure the entitlement is paid as soon as possible.

Reacting to the allegations of the farmers that some unknown persons with names like AZ, PO, ZT were fraudulently involved during the first payment has been discovered and removed and as such nobody collected for such authorized names.

It will be recalled that the farmers had in the past months protested at the site of the Airport while the then Governor of Ekiti state John Kayode Fayemi promised to look into the case of those that are yet to be paid their entitlements.

The Farmers visibly in tears passionately appealed to the state government to urgently attend to their demands as some of those affected have started dying.

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