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Kwara Communities Kick Against Acquisition of Farmlands For Smart City Project

By George George Idodwu

At least twenty-three communities in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State where the state government has mapped out for a planned SmartCity project have rejected the government acquisition of their ancestral farmlands.

The State Government, through the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Geographic Information Service, Mr. Abdulkareem Sulayman, has disclosed that the government has acquired 20,065 hecatres of land aimed at establishing a modern city tagged – SmartCity, during his courtesy visit to the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari

While addressing the Emir, Sulayman pledged that all affected land owners within the area mapped out for the SmartCity project would receive compensation soon and called for their cooperation for the successful realisation of the project.

However, the state government announcement of acquiring some lands in Ilorin East and Ilorin South Local Government of the state did not go down well with so many people who have kicked against the move by the government.

The land owners under the aegis of Akanbi Ward 1 and 2 claimed they received a letter dated 1st March, 2024, notifying them of the government intention to acquire their ancestral land for public use. But, the Chairman of Akanbi Wrd 1 and 2, Azeez Omolola, told news men that the people of the 23 villages captured in the planned SmartCity project.

He said, ”We, the people of the 23 villages captured in the project, home and abroad, rejected the acquisition. We are saddened and bitter over the plan by the state government to aqcuire our ancestral land being used for farming for the establishment of Ilorin SmartCity project where there is food crisis everywhere and hunger is ravaging the people.”

Omolola noted that the planned acquision of people’s land by the state government translate to mean ”sacking the people from their ancestral farmlands which would lead to joblessness, acute and perpetual hunger.”

 

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