Protests as Government demolishes houses in Ogun State
Residents of Libegun Aregbe community in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State protested against the demolition of their houses and shrines by officials of the State Government.
The villagers claimed that the Government is demolishing their community which has been in existence for ‘450 years’ without prior notice.
During a peaceful protest on Monday, the village head, Pa John Akinsola described the demolition of their houses to pave way for a housing estate as an attempt to send them into extinction.
According to the Baale, he and other members of the community were not carried along by the government in the construction of the estate.
“The state government didn’t inform anyone in the village that it is coming for the demolition,” Akinsola was quoted by Punch.
“Nobody had any meeting with us. We just started hearing noise from the caterpillar demolishing our properties and our shrines.
“We are calling on our governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to come to our aid. We are not angry about any estate in our community, but we should be giving a village excision as settlement.
“Our school, polling booth and other amenities in the community should be spared.”
Debunking the insinuation that Libegun is under Kobape area, Akinsola said; “This village has been in existence for over 450 years and the history is there for everyone to see. We are not under Kopabe. Our founding fathers established Kobape as a market over 100 years ago; so, Libegun is far older than Kobape as a community.
“All I can tell my people is that we should remain calm; nobody should resort to fighting or anything inimical to the peace of our community as a result of this development.
“We know that this government is a listening one and I believe it will hear us and come to our aid.”
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communications, Remmy Hazzan, faulted the claim of the villagers saying the proposed site for the estate was acquired a long time ago and the villagers were aware of it.
“I am aware of the estate development in Libegun area by the Ministry of Housing. The community’s grouse about the estate development in Libegun is not correct,” Hazzan said.
“The only building on that site was even a church, which was demolished by the last administration.
“However, the only thing I think the government can do is compensation, which I believe may have been done already.”