Some landlords of the demolished Ijoka Quarters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, staged a protest Thursday against the State Government for destroying property worth N82.6 million for the construction of a bus terminal.
The demonstrators described the government’s unwillingness to pay the required compensation four years after demolishing their property as heartless, insensitive, and wicked.
Protesters with placards went to the Bus Terminal building site and the Palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, to air their discontent.
During the rally, Mr. Afolabi Ogunsakin, a spokesman for the evicted landlords, criticized perceived Governor Kayode Fayemi’s alleged nonchalance in paying their compensations after being evicted on short notice.
He said: “Our dear ancestral home was demolished in 2016 by the state government without consideration for hardship and negative effects that we experienced.
“All negotiations regarding payment of compensations to members had been fruitless. After several appeals, it became clear that the government was not ready to pay us our entitlements. It is also clear that delay in payment of our entitlements was deliberate.
“The community wants to state categorically here that henceforth, step will be taken to disturb workers on site. We are ready to damn the consequences until the government pays us our entitlements”.
Also fuming over the delay, the Head of the family, Chief Laisi Opokiti, regretted how they were being allegedly deceived by government, saying: ” Many tombs where our forefathers were buried were leveled during the demolition. We know that their spirits will fight.
“Four years, four months, and two days after demolition, the government didn’t pay us a dime. Governor Fayemi said he had approved money, but it was not given to us. We appeal that they give us our entitlements”.
Also speaking, the Community’s Youth Leader, Hon Olasehinde Omotoso, disclosed that they had visited the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Diran Adesua and the Director-General, Bureau of Lands, Mrs Funke Falodun, despite, their efforts were futile.
“We have visited them severally, 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.
“If they refuse, the spirits of those that were buried here and those whose houses were demolished will fight back if they refuse to pay us”, he stated.
Oba Adejugbe, represented by Omosio of Ado Ekiti, Chief Opeyemi Abiola, appealed to the protesters not to be unruly and destructive in their actions.
“We will relay your message to Kabiyesi. Baba will be around next week Tuesday so that you can return here to ventilate your anger. He will take up your case with all relevant government agencies”.