Akeredolu not out to punish farmers, but to put things right
The Ondo state government has assured the over 50,000 farmers in the Ondo West council Area of the state that those occupying free areas would not be displaced.
Recall that angry farmers in llua village staged mass protests against the alleged sale of their cocoa plantations and other farmlands by the state government to private firms owned by some Indians and Chinese. The protesters were led by the traditional ruler of Ilua, Oba Olalani Ibidapo.
Displaying placards with various inscriptions, they raised the alarm that the state government had issued them quit notice in all the 20 villages in the area and equally threatened to evacuate them forcefully if they failed to relocate before the end of the year.
But the state government, in a swift response, said that farmers occupying free areas in the state would not be displaced
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agric and Agric business, Pastor Akin Olotu, said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s administration “is not out to punish anybody but to make things better”.
Olotu said that “no sensible government will displace anybody in any free area.
“So we want to look at that place, I will invite their representatives, and we will sit down together and look at a win-win situation and see how we can we accommodate their interests in what we are doing.
“Governance is about the people. So when we see what is on the ground, we will know what to do.
“Our little investigation shows that where they are is even out of where those people are coming to work.
“So maybe it’s anticipatory action, that may be. We will send Government surveyors there to confirm the precise location, if anybody is affected, we will look at it whether it’s a government reserve because nobody came to us in the office and i think that should be the first thing to do, to come to say okay what is going on here.
“So we will find out, we will look at how we will resolve the whole thing amicably. So if they are in government reserve, we will know what to do.
Olotu added “If they are in free area, we already know what to do. Nobody’s interest will be jeopardised, that’s what I will say. The Governor is not out to punish anybody but to make things better. So we will look at it.
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