Protesters at the entrance of Ooni’s palace
By Sodiq Lawal
Hundreds of Ile- Ife indigenes including youths and women today stormed the palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to protest alleged takeover of large expanse of Shasa Forest Reserve land at Area 4 and 5 by non-indigenes who considered to be visitors in Ife land.
The protesters called on the Ooni to urgently stop the allocation of the lands to some non – indigens who are planting cocoa and cola – nut on the forest reserve.
Majority of the protesters who were visibly angry accused some palace Chiefs of collections huge amount of money for the land allocation at the detriment of the original owners of the land.
According to the protesters, about N5,000 Ife indigenes have paid N36,000 to acquire the farm land but some chiefs in the in palace are taking over the lands and reallocating them despite planting growing crops.
Mr Kasali Adeoye while speaking with Ife City News Reporter said the land allocation controversy has prevented them access to the farm for over 6 months and whenever they came to report in the palace to report, the always denied them access to the palace which forced them to embark on public protest.
Addressing the protesters, the Obalufe of Ile-Ife, Oba Idowu Olaniyi appealed to the protesters to be calm while assuring them that the issues would be addressed, but the protester insisted to meet Ooni to resolve the matter.
Few hours later, Ooni requested for the representatives of the protesters and met them behind the close door to douse the tension.
Ooni Ogunwusi while addressing the protesters urged them to tread softly saying Ile- Ife is father of all Yoruba world wide and must continue to tolerate anyone who obeys laws and do legitimate businesses in Ife land.
He promised the protester to investigate all the issues raised and ensure justice in the allocation and acquisition of the affect farm land.