There have been allegations against the Ooni of Ife for selling acres of lands that belong to Osun state farmers, to some Chinese expatriates who were found excavating the acres of land.
Just some days ago, some Chinese fellows alongside few other Nigerians (a traditional ruler inclusive) were caught during an illegal mining in Osun state.
It is quite appalling what people in authority do all in the name of possessing power.
Although in the case of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II it still remains an accusation as there are no proofs to consolidate the fact that he actually sold the farmlands of natives for huge amounts, except of course, the claims of the Chinese Nationals.
Natives’ perspective on the illegal sale of lands
Some of the owners of the assumedly sold farmlands were interviewed, and one of them who was identified as Olaiya, from Erin Nla spoke in Yoruba language and had this to say:
“Please help me, this is my farm, the Chinese have destroyed everything planted on it, Cocoa plantation, Bananna plantation, every other assorted plantation that was planted on the farm, nothing is left for us again.
“These Chinese men claims they came with orders of possession from the palace of Oni of Ife after they have paid a huge sum of money.
“They did not inform anybody, they have destroyed our lives, this is the farming job we depend on. While Olaiya was showing areas where the Chinese men have destroyed so far and the areas they plan to take over, he said
“They brought excavator to remove everything from our land, we can not go and start stealing, this is the only occupation we have.
“They earlier advised us to go back to farming and now they have started selling our lands to Foreigner.”Olaiya, one of the owners of the sold farmlands
The farmers who were interviewed expressed their utter dismay in the arrangement of the sales contract.
Their greatest pain was in the fact that they were not carried along during the exchange. They stated that their express permission was required before such transfer could happen.
Ooni of Ife’s stance on the illegal sale of lands
The Ooni of Ife has however debunked the allegations via a statement signed by his Director of Media, Comrade Moses Olafare.
He stated in the statement that the actions of the Chinese men were an attempt to embarrass Sacred Throne Of The Ooni.
He stated that:
“The farmlands in question are located in Aruwa village within Alaba-Ijesa community in Atakumosa West Local Government. It is an Ijesa land under the paramount rulership of Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, the Owa-Obokun of Ijesaland.
The traditional ruler of the town ‘Oba Alaba of Aba-Ijesa who should have been earlier contacted before the stage managed video is still alive and should be the one to clarify on the matter.”Ooni of Ife