Demolition: Ekiti Landlords Protest Non-payment of Compensations

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Victor Ogunje

Some aggrieved landlords and indigenes of Ijoka area of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, yesterday protested against government’s delay and unwillingness to pay compensations for their demolished buildings located in the heart of the metropolis.

The buildings, numbering 100, acquired in overriding public interest in 2016, were demolished six years ago at Ijoka axis of Ado Ekiti within the vicinity of Ado Ekiti Central Market, to give way for the construction of a Car Park, now being converted to a Bus Terminal, by the state government.

The expansive area was demolished by the administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose, when the construction of the ultra modern Ado Ekiti Central market commenced.

The spokesman of the visibly livid placard -carrying protesters, Mr. Kehinde Adeosun, in a speech he read on behalf of the community, said the foot-dragging in payment of their dues, had rendered many homeless and brought trauma to property owners in that axis.

“The existence of Ijoka Community dated back 1300. The community until its demolition in 2016 was the commercial nerve centre of Ado Ekiti where traders are making millions of naira daily.

“We want to stress that all other communities and towns acquired after the demolition of our dear community had received compensations from the state government. A critical example is the land acquired for the construction of airport within the State capital and other towns where their owners had received compensations.

“The trauma on our members as a result of this neglect had caused a lot of havoc and psychological distress. We plead that the state government should pay us our entitlements,” he said.

Also lamenting the delay, an 80-year-old former labour leader, Mr. Isa Isola Bello, said the community had written series of letters to Governor Kayode Fayemi and the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, who is also an Ado Ekiti indigene, but all efforts were fruitless.

“We have written series of letters, which were officially acknowledged, but they did nothing. We are all loyal APC members, so enough is enough. We voted for APC in 2018. The APC got one of the highest votes in Ado Ekiti here. Within seven days, if they don’t pay, we will take decisive actions,” he said.

The Youth Leader of Ijoka, Hon. Olasehinde Omotoso, said it was unfortunate for the government to be spending billions to institute projects in the area , while failing to pay compensations due to them .

“Fayose applied partisanship and gave compensations to only 10 landlords before he left, why should I suffer when I am an APC member? The governor should give us our money within seven days. If they fail, we will take whatever actions we want to take,”he added.

One of the engineers constructing the Bus Terminal, Kolawole Bankole, assured them that their messages would be taken to government for proper actions, saying that the governor has not forgotten them.