HUNDREDS of villagers in four communities of Ado-Odo-Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State have reportedly fled their homes after some hoodlums suspected to be land grabbers stormed the area. The four communities reportedly under siege include Adekoyeni, Ilewo Alaga, Abule Tisa and Ajambata.
When Vanguard Metro visited some of the villages, they were deserted as most of the villagers had fled and were now living in their farms to avoid being attacked and harmed by the hoodlums. They reportedly fled their homes after they were attacked in July 25, 2016 and August 5, 2016.
The affected villages are situated at Once Araromi Orita village near Atan-Ota along Atan-Sokoto road, in Ado-Odo-Ota LGA of the state.
VM gathered that the hoodlums reportedly dropped the name of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in their bid to grab the lands. According to sources, the villagers had at a time offered a substantial portion of land to the former President ostensibly to secure protection from the hoodlums.
But a man said to be close to the former president (name withheld) took the advantage of the situation and allegedly grabbed a large portion of the said land for himself. Village heads in the area have, however, said that when they met the former president over the matter, he denied ever sending anyone or group to lay claim to land in the area on his behalf.
Bill against land speculators
Speaking with our correspondent, some of the community leaders appealed to the Ogun State government to urgently pass into law the bill against land speculators in the State. The Village Head of Adekoyeni Village Chief Tajudeen Sodiya said the bill, if passed into law, will definitely curb the activities of land grabbers and return sanity to the State.
Chief Sodiya while speaking on the ordeal of his people in the hands of the land grabbers said the once peaceful villages had become a ghost town. He also reiterated the claim that some land grabbers were using the name of the former President to grab land unjustly at Adekoyeni, Ajambata, Araromi, Orita and Oluwanishola (aka Abule Teacher) villages.
He said: “In their desperate bid to seize one land or the other, the thugs have been harassing us on a daily basis, thus preventing the people from going about their businesses”. He stressed the urgent need to checkmate the unlawful actions of the land swindlers. According to him, if there is a law criminalising land speculation in the State, the ugly incidents of land grabbing will come to an end.