Nigeria: Tensions rise in Ondo region as armed groups attack farmers and destroy villages
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
Speaking with newsmen in Akure, the state capital, the farmers said that the armed men, who invaded their farms shot sporadically into the air to scare them away.
The chairman of the farmers, Abayomi lsinleye, said that one of the invaders was apprehended and handed him over to Police Area Command in Ore.
Isinleye alleged that the gunmen were sent by SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, the company to which the state government allotted their cocoa farm to.
According to him, “Despite a court order restraining the Agro-Allied Company from taking over the land until the determination of the suit instituted by the farmers, the firm has continued to clear the plantations.”
He recalled that the existing interim injunction which was granted by Justice Aderemi Adegoroye of Ondo State High Court sitting in Ondo, restrained all respondents in the suit, including SAO Agro-Allied Services Limited, to stop bulldozing the farmers` cocoa plantations.
The chairman said that the operator of the bulldozer, who demanded for the court ruling when confronted by the farmers, urged the farmers to contact the management of SAO Agro-Allied Services before they could leave the farmlands.
He said some of them fought the gunmen and managed to grab two firearms: a pump-action shotgun and an air rifle. One of the gunmen was arrested and taken to the police station.
In order to save the country from this anarchic profit-seeking by private companies who have shown an excessive desperation to drive farmers from their fields at all costs, in defiance of court orders and pending litigation. Ta. ” Suspect arrested – Police
Meanwhile, the State Police Command, when contacted, confirmed the occurrence and arrest of the suspect. “Both parties have been invited by the Ore Regional Commander to know the true situation as the investigation into the matter is still ongoing,” said military spokesperson Funmi Odunlami.