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Unpaid Promises: Ekiti Farmers Rally at Governor’s Office, Demanding Compensation for Airport Project

Over a hundred farmers, whose farmlands bore the brunt of the construction of the Ekiti cargo airport, convened a protest on Monday at the Governor’s Office in Ado Ekiti, citing grievances over their unpaid compensation.

Carrying placards emblazoned with their demands, these farmers hailed from five affected communities: Igbogun, Afao, Araromi Obo, Aso Ayegunle, and Igbemo Ekiti. They voiced their discontent with the government’s failure to fulfill its promise of compensation.

Chief Awe Ojo, the spokesperson for the farmers and the Edemon of Igbemo Ekiti, conveyed their frustration. He lamented the absence of any communication from the state government since their meeting with the governor in June 2023, during which assurances of prompt assistance were given.

“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,” Chief Ojo declared.

He added, “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.”

Elder Peter Oso, a visibly emotional farmer, revealed that eleven among them had passed away, with many others ailing and unable to cover their medical expenses due to the destruction of their livelihoods. He expressed disappointment, noting that what was initially a two-week commitment from the governor had now stretched to four months.

Addressing the protesters, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kolawole Ajobiewe, called for patience, assuring them that the governor was actively engaged with the issue. He stated, “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.”

Ajobiewe also pledged to communicate the date of a meeting on the matter to the farmers before the end of the week.

This demonstration marked another chapter in the ongoing struggle of farmers whose lands, farms, and homes bore the brunt of the airport project’s initiation, which has endured since 2021. These farmers continue to accuse the state government of withholding their rightful entitlements.


Ademola Adeyemi

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