Ekiti landlords protest unpaid compensation

Ekiti map

Some Ado Ekiti indigenes and property owners at the demolished Ijoka Quarters in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday protested the non-payment of their N82.6m compensation by the state government for their property which was demolished for the construction of a bus terminal.

The protesters, who displayed placards, stormed the bus terminal construction site and later the Palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, to make known their grievances for onward transmission to the state government, and bemoaned the government’s alleged nonchalance in paying compensations after being evicted at short notice since 2016.

Among inscriptions on their placards are “Governor sir, pay our compensation for God’s sake”, “No place to lay our heads”, “Our elders are dying”, “Save our Soul”, “Fulfil your promise Mr Governor” and “We need our right”.

The spokesman for the protesters, Afolabi Ogunsakin, lamented that Ijoka community ancestral homes were demolished in 2016 by the state government without consideration for hardship and negative effects that the people had been experiencing since then.

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Ogunsakin said, “All negotiations regarding payment of compensations to members have been fruitless. The community wants to state categorically that henceforth, steps will be taken to disturb workers on site. We are ready to damn the consequences until the government pays us our entitlements”.

The Head of the family, Chief Laisi Opokiti, who lamented that homeowners were being allegedly deceived by the government hence the delay, said, “Many tombs where our forefathers were buried were levelled during the demolition.

“Four years, four months and two days after demolition, the government hasn’t paid us a dime. Governor Kayode Fayemi said he had approved payment, but it was not given to us. We appeal that they give us our entitlements”.

The community’s Youth Leader, Olasehinde Omotoso, who said all necessary government functionaries had been visited over the issue but to no avail, said, “We have visited them on several occasions, but it seems they were deceiving us. We are not saying Governor Fayemi is bad, he is a good man, but we want him to order the payment of our compensation.

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The Ewi, Oba Adejugbe, represented by the Omosio of Ado Ekiti, Chief Opeyemi Abiola, who lauded the peaceful stance of the protesters, said, “We will relay your message to Kabiyesi. You can return to the palace on Tuesday to tell Kabiyesi your grievances and he will surely take up your case with all relevant government agencies”.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Urban Development, Mr Diran Adesua, who said government was not insensitive over the matter, assured them that government would accede to their requests in due course.

Adesua stated, “We want to commend the landlords for not being violent. We will begin the process for the payment of their compensations next week Tuesday. The government feels their pains and we are assuring them that we will accede to their requests.”

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