Farmers in Lagos seek Government Assistance over Land Crisis

Farmers in Lagos State, organized under the Commercial Farmers Cooperative in Epe, have urged the Lagos State Government to promptly address a land crisis affecting the state.
Farmers ensuring adequate food production in the country
Farmers ensuring adequate food production in the country News Agency of Nigeria, NAN,

According to the farmers, their land faces continuous intrusion by military personnel and land grabbers, coupled with persistent harassment, hindering their ability to engage in essential farming activities.

Mr. Wale Oyekoya, the Chairman of the cooperative union, conveyed these concerns during a news conference and a peaceful protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday.

Protesters displayed placards with messages such as “No To Military Invasion, Farmers Are Human,” “No Farmers No Nation,” and “Sanwo-Olu Compensate Us,” as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.

Oyekoya highlighted that the affected farmers had endured various human rights abuses from security personnel invading their farmlands in Itoikin, Epe, Lagos State.

The union chairman indicated that more than 300 hectares of land had allegedly been invaded, resulting in substantial losses and unemployment among the farmers.

“This situation has significantly and adversely affected our sole source of livelihood, disrupting the agricultural sector of the economy,” he stated.

Oyekoya recounted that in 2014, the Lagos State government had sent a letter to Bama Farms Limited regarding plans to relocate the farm for the construction of Lekki International Airport. Consequently, farmers collaborated with the late Rotimi Williams, SAN, and were compensated and relocated to the Eluju Mowo/Mutaku area of Ibeju, Epe in 2015 during Governor Babatunde Fashola's administration.

However, he emphasized that upon taking over the new location, farmers encountered challenges with the landowners, known as ‘Omo onile’, leading to hooligans taking control of the farms.

Detailing the farmers' ordeal with land grabbers, Oyekoya explained, “Thugs would disturb our farms, destroy our crops, and steal our livestock. Over time, they introduced more thugs and estate developers to destabilize us.”

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