Ondo farmers protest alleged farmlands takeover by Chinese firm


Farmers from different communities in the Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday, took to the streets in protest against the alleged decision of the state government to take over their farmlands for leasing to a Chinese company.

The farmers, who trooped out in their large numbers from their different farm settlements, said they had sighted many bulldozers in the areas to clear away their cocoa farms, pleading with the government to reverse the decision.

The farmers said the agrarian communities, which include Laosho, Ulugba, Adejori, Kabiyesi, Lafa, Oloruntedo, Obadore Yinka, Keseomi, Lomofe, Gbekelu, Langbodo, Abuja, Lopaun, Sahara, Aba Cocoa, Topeu, Bolorunduro, Iyolope and Yemisi, were known for the production of cocoa, palm oil, cashew and other cash crops.

The protesters were armed placards with different inscriptions, such as: ‘We are Dying,’ ‘Help our Children’, ‘Chinese wants to kill us’, ‘Aiyedatiwa, Jeki Aye Datiwa, Save our Souls’, among others.
Chanting solidarity songs, the farmers appealed to the state government to allow them to be paying a special due if desired to allow them to retain the farmlands.

Speaking during the protest, a leader in one of the protesting communities, Mr Akibamijo Olarewaju, said the villagers heard that the last administration had sold all the farmlands in the area to a foreign company.

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