There was outrage, on Tuesday, as residents of Araromi Ajegunle community in Sagamu, Ogun State, protested an alleged forceful take over of their land by a Chinese company.
The aggrieved locals alleged that the Chinese, aided by armed military men, invaded their community and forcefully took over their land.
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Members of the affected community who chanted solidarity songs and marched to the construction site of the Chinese company carrying placards with various inscriptions, pleaded with Governor Dapo Abiodun and the House of Assembly to intervene.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards included: “Ogun state government, please save us from foreign invaders in disguise of investors”, “Stop encroaching on our community land. Respect court order”, “We say no to illegal activities of ministry of lands”, We Ajegule Araromi youth association are tired of land grabbers, Mr. Governor act very fast” and “Enough is Enough! Mr. Governor act now”.
They alleged that, the immediate past administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in 2013, under the guise of using the land to build a trailer park, acquired their land, but instead sold it to the Chinese company without giving them any compensation.
The community leader, Chief Amos Adesanya, who spoke on behalf of the protesters alleged that, no fewer than 500 structures have been demolished by the Chinese and the land taken over without compensation paid to the owners.
Adesanya lamented the continued silence of the government on the issue following the claim by the Chinese that they have paid an undisclosed amount of money to the government to acquire over 500 hectares of the land.
Adesanya said, “We just woke up one day and saw the Chinese guarded by military men taking possession of our land, grabbing our land, demolishing our structures and erecting their own.
“We are here to agitate for our right, how can some people just take over our land without notice and we didn’t sell our land to them.
“We want the government to please help us, they have taken more than half of our community land. We want the Ogun state and Federal governments to please help us because we have no where else to go now.”
One of the victims, Mrs. Mopelola Aliu, whose house built on three plots of land, but allegedly demolished said, “We need help because this suffering that these Chinese are putting us through is too much. This has been going on since 2013.”
Addressing the protesters, a Chinese who simply identified himself as Felix, said, the company was willing to dialogue with representatives of the community, advised them to take their case to the State Bureau of Lands and Survey.