Ekiti Muslims protest against govt acquisition of land
Thousands of Muslims in Ekiti State yesterday protested against the State Government’s decision to use part of Ola-Oluwa Muslims Grammar School, along Ilawe road in Ado Ekiti to build an housing estate and hotel.
The protesters that massed at the Central Mosque in Oja Oba area of the state capital as early as 7 am marched to the site chanting Al Akbar and dislodged government officials sent by the Ministry of Works to map out the already bulldozed land for proposed housing units and hotel.
To avoid crisis that could have engulfed the state, the Ministry officials and security agencies attached to them left the site without any resistance from the angry Moslem faithful who claimed to have acquired the land 50 years ago.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Alhaji Azees Ibiyemi, described the government’s action as very embarrassing, saying no consultation was held with the Muslim community before “government forcefully encroached on their land”.
He disclosed that about 65 hectares of land were acquired by Muslims on that portion out of which the secondary and primary schools were built by Muslim community before being taken over by government, saying the unoccupied expanse of land still remain their legal property.
He said, “We have the Certificate of Occupancy with us and the survey plan. This land belongs to all the Muslims in Ekiti and what we wanted to build on it is our International mosque, International Youth Centre, hospital and a tertiary institution and that was why we decided not to collect compensation when the schools were taken over by government, so that we can make use of the remaining land.
“The Government had taken over a portion of AUD secondary school for the construction of Ministry of Works and the Pilot school in Ajilosun and no compensation was paid.
“The schools owned by Catholic, Anglican and Baptist have large expanse of lands, why must Muslims be targeted as victims of land seizure by government?”, he asked.
The Leader of National Council of Muslim Youth (NACOMYO), Alhaji Jamiu Olaanabi and Imam Kasaliyu Buhari, appealed to government to see reason and abandon the land in the interest of peace.