Lagos commercial farmers cry for help from State, FG over invasion of their farmland by military men. - The Top Society

Lagos commercial farmers cry for help from State, FG over invasion of their farmland by military men.

HANNAH ONI

Commercial Farmers in Lagos State under the name Afero/Itoikin-Epe farmers association have appealed to Lagos State government and the Federal Government to deliver them from men of the Nigerian Soldiers who invaded the land allocated to them by the state government for farming on the excuse that the land belonged to them.

The farmers who staged a protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly appealed to government to quickly come to their aid, by allocating another land free from any encumbrances to them and compensate them for their crops which the soldiers have wasted by preventing them from harvesting them, because since they invaded the land none of farmers was permitted to have access to the land.

Speaking about their plight the chairman of the association Prince Wale Oyekoya said that the land was allocated to them by the administration of Mr Babatunde Fashola in 2014 when they were displaced from the former land given to them at Afero in Ibeju Lekki by the state government for commercial farming because of the construction of Cargo Airport at the place.

He maintained that when they got to Itoikin their new allocation, the initial problem they were facing was the issue of Omo Onile, who he said  did invade their farmland and destroy their crops.

Prince Oyekoya said several letters were written to the state government about their nefarious activities but the state failed to do anything about it.

He maintained that at a time a total sum over one million Naira was demanded from them by the state government to get rid of the omo onile, adding that shortly after the state government officials vacated the land the omo onile resurfaced again.

Prince Oyekoya said they were still battling with Omo onile issue when the military men  that numbered over 50 invaded their land in December 2023,claiming the land belongs to the military and it was allocated to them many years back.

He maintained that the soldiers beat up everybody on site, including customers who came to buy farm produce, adding that their farm produce, including animals they were rearing  were destroyed.

The leader of the farmers said,the soldiers have started erecting fence round the land and nobody can access it.

Speaking in the same vein the vice chairman of the farmers association Mr.Joseph Ezekwele said the association was formed to produce commercial farm produce for the state at a cheaper rate, and that some of them have perennial farm produce like cashew and other produce which are ripe for harvesting but they cant access the farm land.

He lamented that many of them are indebted to banks that gave them loan but now that they have been chased away by the military from their farm land,where will they raise money to pay the loan.

Oyekoya noted that when the state government knew the land belongs to the military why did she allocate it to them.

He maintained that they have Certificate of Occupancy on the former land at Afero where they were farming, before they were relocated due citing of Agro international airport there, he maintained that not all their land at Afero was taken over for Airport purpose,but to their surprise the remaining land was given to estate developers to build houses.

He maintained that they have petitioned the Senator representing their constituency Senator Tokunbo Abiru,their House of Representatives member and their State Assembly representative Hon.Biodun Tobun and they were told the issue can only be resolved by the Federal Government through the ministry of Defence.

They however urged the Federal Government and the state government to quickly address the issue in their interest.

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