Indigenes of eight communities in Oko-Makun, Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State on Monday protested at Oke-Mosan Governor’s Office, Abeokuta, calling on Governor Dapo Abiodun to protect them from land grabbers.
They alleged that the land grabbers have evicted them from their ancestral land, destroying farm crops and fishponds.
The villagers lamented the loss of their means of livelihood totalling millions of naira to the routine raid on their farms and homes by the land grabbers.
According to them, the land grabbers have foisted a traditional ruler (Baale) on them.
Leaders and representatives of the eight communities – Ewu Oje, Ewu Lisa, Kaniyi, Ewu Losi, Dodogiri, Amiteku, Ajagun and Gushenmedo – appealed to the governor to protect and defend them.
The placard-carrying villagers alleged that the land grabbers led by Otunba Kamorudeen Lamina, popularly called Sir K. Oluwo, have been destroying their farm produce and encroaching on their lands since 2014.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Governor Dapo Abiodun please save us from Sir K”, “Save our souls from Otunba Sir K. Oluwo is ruining our heritage at Makun Sagamu” and “Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun save us from this notorious land grabber called Sir K. Oluwo”.
The secretary of the affected villages, Mr. Lanre Olusanya Dada, spoke on behalf of the villagers while addressing the governor’s representatives led by the Chief of Staff, Salisu Shuaibu.
He alleged that Kamorudeen in connivance with other land grabbers and hoodlums have been invading their villages, savaging farmlands, crops and fish ponds.
Dada said the wife of the Oditan Pataraku family head at Ewu Oje village while fleeing from land grabbers during one of their raids, fell on her chest and died.
He noted that the communities have written many petitions to police formations, former Governor Ibikunle Amosun and 8th Ogun State House of Assembly without respite.
According to him, their oppressors have ways of using the police to gain upper hands against them.
He said: “The land grabbers have heavily occupied the entire land of the six communities, having invaded and sent packing all the land owners, farmers, villagers, thereby depriving them of the ownership of their properties and inheritance. Governor Dapo Abiodun should please help us and deliver us from this notorious land grabber “.
Also speaking, Captain Michael Adesonubi, a serving marine officer, said the communities, through their lawyer, Wale Ayodele, petitioned the Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Inspector- General of Police Monitoring Unit at the Force headquarters, Abuja on the matter, who invited them.
He said they went to Abuja three times but all to no avail.
Captain Adesonubi said in the fourth time, they were kidnapped at Kabba, Kogi State on September 14, 2017, by kidnappers on their way to Abuja, lamenting that while four people, including himself, were kidnapped on that day, their captors freed only three after paying N5 million ransom and spending two weeks in the bush.
He said the fourth person, Tajudeen Otesile, alias Baba Ibeji, was taken to a different location and has since not been found since 2017.
He urged the government to act fast to save the communities from the land grabbers.
Shuaibu, who addressed the protesters on behalf of the governor, lauded them for conducting themselves peacefully despite provocations.
The Chief of Staff, who appealed to them to exercise patience with the assurance that the governor would look into the matter, reminded the villagers that there is already an existing anti-land grabbing law in the state.
Shuaibu maintained that the new government would implement it to it fullest.