Land-grabbing: Ogun community demands removal of monarch

From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

Scores of residents of Ijeun Community in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Tuesday, stormed the Ogun State House of Assembly Complex to demand the removal of a traditional ruler, Olu of Obafe, Oba Taofeek Owolabi, over his alleged land grabbing and criminal activities

The protesters, who carried placards  with various inscriptions and chanted songs, equally accused the monarch of using the IGP Tactical Squad to terrorise the residents of the community.

They were also joined by members of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Ogun State chapter, led by the State Chairman, Messrs. Yinka Folarin.

Addressing journalists on behalf of the protesters  Rev. Emmanuel Akinbo, said Oba Owolabi had embarked on encroachment of people’s land and forceful take over of their property.

The community leader who accused the monarch of grabbing his family land, also added many residents, who had stood up against Oba Owolabi’s actions, were either arrested and whisked to Abuja by security operatives attached to the the IGP tactical squad or man-handled by hoodlums.

Pa Akinbo further accused the monarch of posing a threat to the people of Ijeun community and claimed that the Oba was involved in attempted kidnap of some members of the community.

He, however, appealed to the state government and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, to wade into the matter before it degenerated into turmoil.

Speaking, Ogun State CDHR chairman, Folarin, said the matter had been brought for to the Committee for mediation, but all efforts to settle the issue were frustrated by the monarch.

He disclosed that some of CDHR members in Obafemi-Owode council were arrested and detained by the IGP Tactical Squad on the orders of the traditional ruler.

Folarin, who urged the state government to ensure sanity and peace are maintained in the community, equally implored the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to call his tactical team to order, before there is break down of law and order.

Addressing the protesters, the lawmaker representing Obafemi-Owode State Constituency in the Assembly Tunde Sanusi, assured that the House would look into their complaints and the petition submitted to the House by the protesters.

Sanusi, who said the House had set up a Committee on land grabbing issues, vowed that violators of the state land grabbing law would face the full wrath of the law.