Kwara Smart City Project: 23 Communities reject acquisition of their farmlands Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

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No fewer than 23 communities in Ilorin South local government area of Kwara state have rejected plan by the state government to acquire their lands for Smart City project.

The communities, under the aegis of Akanbi Wards 1 and 2, had claimed that they received a letter dated March 1st this year notifying them of the state government’s intention to revoke/acquire the land for public use.

Addressing journalists on Friday in Fufu, headquarters of the Ilorin South Local Government Council, the Chairman of Akanbi Ward 1 and 2, Azeez Omolola, said: “The people of the 23 villages at home and abroad are expressing and registering our bitter feeling, sadness and deep sorrow over plan by the state government to acquire/revoke our land being used for farming for the establishment of Ilorin Smart City project when hunger is ravaging the people.”

Mr. Omolola lamented that the planned revocation/acquisition of their land would mean sacking the people from their farmlands, thereby throwing them in acute and perpetual hunger.

He appealed to the state government for the immediate suspension of all plans to forcefully revoke/acquire their land for private use under the guise of public interest, urging the constitution of a panel of inquiry to look into the circumstances which had led to that decision that completely left them out on a matter that borders on their lives and livelihoods.

Besides, the spokesperson for the Ward stressed the need for the
panel of inquiry to also examine all alternative ways to avoid destruction and grabbing of their communities’ ancestral land, forests and farmlands.

He further counseled the state government to “halt and reverse the implementation of the policy and follow that by inviting all stakeholders in the communities for a meeting; constituting a special committee to look into the matter raised by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the notification letter as regards the issue of public interest.

“Recognise and allow our rights as indigenous people as enacted in national and international laws to be respected and preserved.”

Omolola urged the state government to “carry out thorough and transparent review of the adverse ecological, socio-cultural, economic, financial and reputational impacts of the proposed Smart City before it precipitates a man-made disaster for our communities and the state at large.”


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