BY DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA— Pandemonium broke out, weekend, when some people believed to be land speculators invaded Adunbu village in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State and chased all the residents, including the village head, away before they seized the village.
An eye witness told Vanguard that the hoodlums, armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, stormed the village during a monthly community meeting and sacked the whole village before they forcefully took over the landed property built on over 4,000 hectares of land.
When Vanguard visited the troubled community, weekend, it was a ghost of itself while most of the displaced villagers, mostly women, were seen loitering at the Ewekoro Local Government secretariat while others were said to have fled to other areas, including Lagos.
Speaking with Vanguard from his hiding place, the village head, Chief Olalekan Ogunjobi, said the hoodlums were aided by some members of the community.
He further said he and his Secretary, Chief Ranti Falola, had been arrested by police on the order of the mastermind of the act before the village was sacked.
According to the village head, “we are now refugees staying in churches, mosques and houses of well wishers in Itori. The thugs, numbering about 150, came in eight Volkswagen mini-buses, hid their guns in a coffin and started shooting everywhere.
“The villagers, men, women and children ran out of the village to take refuge in the bush and neighbouring communities. After ensuring that the villagers had been sacked, the land surveyor they brought started surveying the villagers’ land.
Villagers appeal to Gov. Amosun
“We want Governor Ibikunle Amosun to assist us to get back our village from these hoodlums. We cannot go back to our village because they are still there with dangerous weapons ready to kill anybody that they see.
“We are pleading with the authority to please come to our aid because this act of terrorism has brought untold hardship to members of the community who are now refugees in their own country.
“Women and school children have been displaced and can no longer attend schools. The economic activities have been paralyzed in the community as people are now cut off from their means of livelihood,” the petition read in part.
…Petition Ogun CP
Vanguard further learnt that a petition had been addressed to the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, where the villagers alleged that the thugs, numbering about 150 were led by one Real Estate agent (name withheld).
The villagers in the petition entitled “Case of Terrorist Attack on AdunbuVillage” were said to have claimed that the Real Estate agent brought in land surveyors after the villagers had been successfully made to run to the neighbouring communities.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.
Both calls and text sent to the Police spokesman were not responded to, but a police source who confided in our correspondent hinted that the matter had been handed over to Olu of Itori, Oba Fatai Akamo, for settlement.
The police source informed our correspondent that the monarch has summoned a peace meeting between the two factions and had promised the police to find a lasting solution to the matter within two weeks.