Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

Adejoke Adeleye

Residents of  Libegun Aregbe village in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun have kicked against alleged demolition of their houses and shrines by the officials of the state government  .

The villagers said their community which had been in existence for over 450 years, was being demolished without prior notice and due compensation.

The  Baale of the community, Pa John Akinsola  accused Prince Dapo Abiodun government of  demolishing their property,  including their shrines  without a prior notice.

Akinsola described the demolition of their houses to pave way for an Estate as an attempt to send them into extinction.

The village head said this during a peaceful protest on Monday decrying their non-inclusion in the construction of the estate by the government in the community.

He added that their sources of livelihood have been destroyed by the government officials.

He said “the state government didn’t inform anyone in the village that they are coming for the demolition.

“Nobody had meeting with us. We just started hearing the noise from the caterpillar demolishing our property 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 given a village extension as  a settlement.

“Our school, polling booth and other amenities in the community should be spared”.

Akinsola debunked the insinuation that Libegun is under Kobape area, adding that the village had  been in existence for  about 450 years long before Kobape was carved out as just a market.

His words, ” This village has been in existence for over 450 years and the history is there for everyone to see. We are not under Kopabe. It is our founding fathers that established Kobape as a market over 100 years ago, so Libegun is far older than Kobape even as a community.

“All I can tell my people is that we should remain calm, nobody should result into fighting or anything inimical to the peace of our community because of this development.

“We know that this government is a listening one, and I believe they will hear and come to our aid.

Also speaking , a resident of the village,  Lateef Diyaolu said estate development in the community  would have been laudable if not  for  the nonchalant attitude of the state government to the original inhabitants of the community.

He, however, opposed total takeover of the community for the housing scheme without proper communication and compensation from the state government.

“This is like they are trying to make us extinct us from our own land which is wrong. Even if the government wants to do anything in any community, they are supposed to carry along the people leaving in that community.

“Not to come and destroy our houses and do whatever they want. This is not the promises they gave us when we were voting for them.

“This is only place we have known as home. So, we do not agree with this.If they want to continue this project, let them come and dialogue with us.

“We need them to provide us a village extension it  will ameliorate the suffering we have been subjected to.

“Where do they want our families to stay, do they want us to go and start sleeping under the bridge? I have aged parents in this village, where do I take them to? Diyaolu queried.

When contacted the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communications, Remmy Hazzan, faulted the claim of the villagers.

Hassan said the proposed site for the estate had been acquired for over four years, claiming that the villagers were aware.

He said “I am aware of the estate development in Libegun area by the Ministry of Housing. The community grouse about the estate development in Libegun is not correct.

“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 the compensation, which I believe may have been done.”