Akeredolu’s son ordered Amotekun to kill us over our farms – Cocoa farmers

June 6, 2023

3.1 min readCategories: News

Cocoa farmers in Ore community of Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State have accused the state government of forcefully taking over their farmlands through a private company, SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, which they claimed belongs to Babajide Akeredolu, the governor’s son.

In a press conference
on Tuesday in Akure, the farmers accused Governor Akeredolu’s administration of bulldozing their Cocoa farms with the use of armed security operatives, Men of the Ondo State Amotekun Corp despite a Court Injunction restraining the government from invading and destroying their farmlands.

The farmers who spoke through Mr Rotimi Isinleye, also cried to the world to save their souls as they accused Babajide, the governor’s son of trying to kill them when he allegedly instructed the armed men to shoot and kill anyone who dares to protest the invasion in fragrant disobedience to a court order.

Read the full statement below:

“We are Cocoa farmers, tenants of the Ondo State Government, farming in the Oluwa forest reserve in various settlements grouped into camps of Temidire, Adeleye Itamerin, Ikawo, Ijoba, Ayeleso, Isero and their sub-camps, within Oluwa Forest Reserve (OA3A) Odigbo, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, who are also Claimants in SUIT NO. HOR/14/2023 – ABAYOMI ROTIMI ISINLEYE AND OTHERS VS ONDO STATE GOVERNMENT AND OTHERS, filed over the government’s forceful eviction of our members from our cultivated cocoa farmlands on land rented from the government with an annual payment of rent to accommodate private companies buying up lands in the government forest reserve for the cultivation of oil palm trees.

“In the case filed by our counsel, Tope Temokun and upon the application he moved in SUIT NO. HOR/14/2023 – ABAYOMI ROTIMI ISINLEYE AND OTHERS VS ONDO STATE GOVERNMENT AND OTHERS, on the 2nd of May 2023, the Ondo State High Court at Ore Judicial Division sitting in Ondo, Ondo State, presided over by Justice Aderemi Adegoroye, granted an interim injunction, restraining the Ondo State Government and SAO AGRO-ALLIED SERVICES LIMITED, among others, from further grading or continuing to grade Our Cocoa plantations and farmlands at Temidire, Adeleye, Itamerin, Ikawo, Ijoba, Ayeleso and that sub-camps within Oluwa Forest Reserve (OA3A) in Odigbo, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, the subject matter of the suit pending before the Court. The order was drawn up and obtained and served on the defendants accordingly.

“Surprisingly after the giving of this order, with the backing of the Ondo State government and in flagrant disobedience to the said Order of the Court, workmen of SAO AGRO-ALLIED SERVICES LIMITED, under heavy armament of a combined team of over hundred Amotekun Officers, soldiers and local vigilante and gunmen, were mobilized to the farms and they claimed they have the directive of the governor’s son, who is the behind-the-scene veiled chief promoter of these private companies buying up the Ondo State forest reserve lands, to shoot and kill anyone who dares to protest around the farms or dares to stop their work and they have continued on daily basis to grade our Cocoa farmlands in the Oluwa forest reserve.

“We have cried out to the world and notable well-meaning Nigerians have intervened and among others, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi CFR, has made representations and delegations to the Governor of Ondo State to intervene in this matter to see that due process is followed but the destruction of our farmlands have been continued by SAO AGRO-ALLIED SERVICES LIMITED, with the backing of government force and state apparatus, in disobedience of an order of Court.

“We hereby cry out to the world, to SAVE OUR SOULS! They said Babajide Akeredolu asked them to shoot and kill us!”, the statement added.

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About the Author: Olumide Akinrinlola

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