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Airport Project: Over 400 Ekiti Farmers Protest, Beg Fayemi For Compensation

Photo of protesters

For the second time in five months, over 400 farmers have protested over the continued failure of the Ekiti State government to pay them compensation for their farms and lands acquired for the ongoing construction of the cargo airport. 


The aggrieved farmers had, in October last year protested at the project site, where they called on the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to pay them compensation. 


On Thursday again, the protesting farmers, mostly the aged and widows who came from Igbogun, Aso, Igbemo, Ijan and Orun Bolorunduro communities to the airport ground located along Ado-Ijan-Ekiti road, pleaded with the state governor to consider their plights and investment in their farmlands and respond to their yearnings. 


The aggrieved farmers who carried placards with different inscriptions also stormed the governor’s office in protest. 


Some of the inscriptions read: ‘Please, Ekiti government, pay our compensation’; ‘Governor Fayemi should pay our money without delay’; ‘The farmers cry for help’; ‘We need a commission for our land acquired by government’, among others. Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved farmers, Mrs Daramola Adebola lamented that the farmers from the five affected communities whose lands were acquired for the airport had lost huge amounts of money in investment on the crops, calling on the governor to urgently address their grievances and pay them compensation. Adebola expressed regret that since the last protest by the farmers last year, nothing had been done by the government to meet their demands. 


She said, “This shows the insensitivity of the state government to our plights. 


“We are here again today since they promised us compensation when we last protested on the lands acquired for the airport, but we have been waiting with no results almost two years of the acquisition. We have no food to eat and all our investment on the land has gone. 


“It is the government that said people should embrace farming, but here we are now after so much investment in cocoa, plantain, cassava, palm tree and other crops, government came to destroy them.” 

But when contacted, the technical adviser to the governor on the airport project, Adeniyi Ojuawo, pleaded with the farmers to exercise patience with the government, saying the process of paying additional 280 farmers would be completed for them to receive compensation. 


He explained that the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi would not defraud the farmers of their entitlement, saying out of the over 1,000 farmers enumerated, 850 had been paid compensation, adding that majority of those protesting were not captured at the initial stage of the enumeration.


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