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Ekiti Residents Kick As Fayose Destroy Their Farms, Crops

Residents of Obasanjo Estate and Fayose Estate along Ado-Ikere Expressway have condemned the alleged destruction of their farmlands by bulldozers mobilized by the Ekiti State Housing Corporation.

They expressed shock that their farms were destroyed by the corporation officials claiming to be acting on the orders of Governor Ayo Fayose “without any prior notice” last Friday.

One of the residents said seven workmen from the corporation including a surveyor destroyed crops including yams, cassava and maize planted on the farms.

The source said corporation’s General Manager, Babasoji Awe visited the place Saturday morning saying he was acting in line with the governor’s instruction.

Some mobile policemen residing in nearby Fayose Estate whose farms were destroyed during the exercise were said to be spoiling for a showdown with the state government threatening to henceforth shoot any Housing official seen on their farms.

The policemen said the Housing officials were lucky not to meet them at home at the time the exercise was carried out. About 20 policemen lost their farms to the exercise.

A resident said: “We were shocked by the government’s action to destroy our farms because the owners of the land gave us go-ahead to do farming on the land so that the land can be secured for them before they develop the land.

“This is the same government that said we should go back to land at a period our salaries are not regular. At least five of us were affected at Obasanjo Estate while about 20 mobile policemen at Fayose Estate were affected.

“The Landlords Association was not carried along and there was no prior notice before our farms were bulldozed. We are sad about this development and the loss is very huge.”

Addressing reporters on the development, Housing Corporation boss Awe said the housing estates were not meant for farming and residents farming on the land did not get the agency’s permission to carry out the exercise.

While stressing that the exercise was carried out “in overall public interest,” Awe said the action was not carried out with malice or to witch-hunt residents. He maintained that the action had no political undertone.

Awe said: “They didn’t get our permission before commencing farming on the land. We have to open up the roads to give access to other land owners so that they can have access to their plots.

“We have a master plan of the estate which should not be alerted; the estate is for housing extension, is not meant for farming. The action has no political undertone, there is no sentiment or malice in what we have done.”

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