The residents of Simawa, located in the Sagamu local government area of Ogun State, have made a plea to Governor Dapo Abiodun to assist them in dealing with the menace of suspected land grabbers.
During a recent protest held in the community, the indigenes of Simawa expressed their concerns about the encroachment of their land by hoodlums. They revealed that these land grabbers had infiltrated at least 13 villages.
The protesters carried placards bearing various messages, including “Gov. Dapo Abiodun, Oke Rala community needs your intervention,” “Land grabbing is a crime, enough is enough,” and “Kabiyesi Akarigbo, we need your intervention, enough is enough Oba Onraniken.”
They alleged that the land grabbers were brought in by Oba Adewale Adeniji, a monarch from a neighboring community and that they had been causing extensive damage to properties and farms and engaging in extortion. The indigenes expressed grave concerns for their safety due to the activities of these hoodlums.
Tiamiyu Fasasi, a community leader, spoke on behalf of the protesters. He explained that the land grabbers had forcefully claimed ownership of the 13 villages in Simawa, despite having no legitimate rights to them. The affected villages were listed as Igbo Iwaju, Ososa, Oke Ate, Aiyetoro, Okerala, Ajebo, Kaniyi, Ewu Ijebu, Igbo Iwaju land, Mamugba, Ewu Oje, Ewu Lisa, and Otusanya.
Fasasi stated, “The land grabbers invaded our community recently and brought armed thugs to attack the villagers. They destroyed fences and buildings in our community. The issue started in 2018 when they presented a purported court judgment claiming ownership of our villages. We appeal to Governor Dapo Abiodun, the traditional ruler of Simawa, and security agents to assist us in removing these land grabbers. They have no rightful claim here, and we have no involvement in their court case.”
He further disclosed that the community had made numerous attempts to resolve the issue peacefully but to no avail. Previous protests were held, including visits to the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland and the Governor’s Office at Oke-Mosan last year, but no satisfactory resolution has been reached.
Another resident, Sogo Oyetola, shared his personal experience, revealing that he had been attacked twice before the protest. He explained, “Last week, I was attacked but managed to escape. Then, on Friday, they destroyed another of my vehicles and locked up our women’s shops. They are causing disturbances because of the land they claim to own, which belongs to us. If the state government has granted them the power to do this, we implore them to revoke it. They are simply terrorizing us.”
Oyetola also expressed concerns about Oba Adewale Adeniji, stating, “The truth is that Oba Adewale Adeniji, the Oniraniken, is attempting to take what is not rightfully his forcefully. He is not from Simawa, and we know our people.
How is it possible for someone to claim ownership of over 13 communities? He once took me to the police headquarters in Abuja, but I was released. We don’t want to take matters into our own hands, so we are calling on Governor Dapo Abiodun to witness and intervene firsthand. The people’s patience is wearing thin.”