The residents of Apoje Community in Ijebu- Igbo, Ogun State, has appealed to the state government to reverse the 30-year farm settlement concession by the former governor of the state, Mr. Gbenga Daniel. Rising from its emergency meeting in Ijebu-Igbo, recently, the community resolved that giving the farm settlement to private investors was not in the interest of its indigenes, especially farmers.
The Chairman of the community, Mr. Tajudeen Salawu, argued that the concession, if left unreversed , would subject the indigenes of the community to poverty. Salawu explained that the community wanted experts, who are indigenes, to manage the settlement of about 8,000 hectares for the benefit of the community and the state.He said the farm settlement, which was once the pride of the community and the state had been in a sorry state due to mismanagement by the investors.
Salawu said, “We remember the promise of our new governor(Ibikunle Amosun) on the state property during the former administration and his promise to restore the confidence of the citizens in making sure that the property was returned. The Apoje farm settlement is among.
“The Ijebu-Igbo community has credible sons and daughters who have the financial base and agronomy experience to reactivate the Apoje farm settlement. “We are appealing to the government to allow our people to handle the management of the farm for the development of the community and the state as a whole.”
A prominent member of the community, Dr. Olu Odeniyi, said the farm settlement concession would subject farmers and the community to slavery on their own land. Odeniyi, while urging the government to allow an agricultural expert from the town to manage the farm, said this would provide employment for youths in the community.
He said, “We appeal to government to help us out. We don’t want this concession arrangement; but rather, we want our sons and daughters to utilise the settlement for our benefit.”