Farmers in Ondo State Protests Against Farmland Acquisition by Chinese Firms

In a significant display of dissent, farmers from various communities within Ondo West Local Government Area have taken to the streets to voice their opposition against the state government’s decision to lease their farmlands to a Chinese company. The move, which has sparked widespread concern among the local agrarian population, is seen as a direct threat to their livelihood and cultural heritage.

The protests, which began early this week, saw a large turnout of farmers bearing placards with poignant messages such as “Our Land, Our Life,” “Stop the Land Grab,” and “Farming is our Heritage.” The demonstrators marched through the main thoroughfares, culminating at the palace of the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, where they sought intervention.

According to the protesters, the state government has forcibly acquired land traditionally used for farming, with plans to lease it to Chinese entities. This action has not only jeopardized the primary source of income for many families but also raised fears about the future of local food security and the preservation of ancestral lands.

The Oloja of Eruwa, a community leader, spoke on behalf of the farmers, stating, “Our forefathers toiled on these lands, and we have continued in their footsteps. We cannot just watch our heritage being stripped away. We appeal to Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to reconsider this decision and protect our right to farm.”

The farmers’ plight has resonated with various civil society groups and activists who have called for a transparent dialogue between the government and the affected communities. They emphasize the need for sustainable development that does not come at the cost of displacing local populations or harming the environment.

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As the situation unfolds, the farmers remain resolute in their demand for the state government to halt the leasing process and engage in fair negotiations to ensure their lands are returned and their voices heard

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