(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The people of Ebira, in Bolorunduro, a farming community in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti are in dire straits as their farms and houses are being demolished to give way for the airport project being constructed in the area by the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led government.
According to the farmers’ spokesperson, Isah Sa’ed, the state government had acquired over 40,000 acres of land in Bolorunduro community for the project, without considering the multiplier effects this would have on the farmers.
“When they started fencing the land last year we asked them what will be the fate of farmers using the land and they told us that there will be no problem and that whenever it was time to commence work on the construction of the airport, the farmers will be given prior notice and be adequately compensated. We stood by that assurance and started cultivating our portion of the land and we have planted yams, cassava , cocoa yam and even pepper.
‘But to our surprise just last month the company handling the project by name Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company rolled out their earth moving equipment and started demolishing our houses and destroying our crops worth several millions of naira, Sa’ed lamented.
It is instructive to note that the demolition of the houses was not accompanied with any form of compensation by the authorities for those affected, consequently making residents of the community homeless, especially vulnerable women, children and the elderly who have been traumatized and left hopeless by the new development.
Agenda Watchdog is appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello of neighbouring Kogi State to please prevail on the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to commence the process of compensating the Ebira people for the crops and houses they have lost consequent to the construction of the airport on their ancestral farmlands in Bolorunduro community.
As law-abiding citizens of the state, who contribute to its economic growth through farming activities, vote during elections, pay taxes regularly and give honorariums to the traditional institutions in the state on yearly basis, the Ebira people deserve some form of palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of being chased out of a place they have lived in and cultivated for many years.
The Governor of Ekiti State should please expedite action towards addressing the plight of these people with a view to assisting them; otherwise many of them will be consigned to uncertain fates. The governor should use his good offices to dwell on whoever is in charge of compensations to pay these people their dues for their destroyed crops so that they can move to another area to settle and go on with their lives.