Farmers in Ekiti state, on Wednesday, staged a protest against what they called ‘illegal acquisition of their farmlands and unlawful destruction of economic trees and crops,” which came as a result of the airport project embarked upon by the state government.
The farmers from five communities: Igbemo, Igbogun, Aso, Iwajo and Ijan, that covered three local government areas of Ado, Gbonyin and Irepodun/Ifelodun, claimed that at least 10 farmers including three women have died of shock over what they called “huge economic loss” resulting from the destruction of their farms.
They stormed the project site and urged Governor Ayo Fayose to immediately stop work on the project in respect of the suit they had filed in court.
Displaying placards, the protesters claimed that they did not receive any valid notice before government sent bulldozers to destroy their farms.
They said they do not need any compensation but restoration of their land.
Some of their placards read: “Gov Fayose, Please Leave Us Alone, Don’t Damage Our Life,” “This Land Is The Major Cocoa Plantation, Please No Trespass,” “Please Relocate Your Airport to Government Forest,” “We All Say No To Illegal Airport Project,” “Iwajo, Aso Say No To Illegal Airport,” and “Igbogun Cries Over Illegal Destruction of Our Property.”
Describing the acquisition of their land as “fraudulent, wicked, callous and illegal,” the farmers alleged that government surveyors and other officials come to their land from time to time to steal farm produce including cocoa, cocoyam, yam and banana.