Encroachment of poly land: Kwara restates payment of compensation to original owners

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Kwara state Government has restated that it paid compensations to original owners of the land where the state Polytechnic, Ilorin is sited, though some villagers within the premises of the over 50 years old institution had alleged none payment of compensation by the state government.

It would be recalled that the 5,500 hectares of the land housing the institution was acquired by the then Military Governor of the state, late Lt-Col David Bamigboye, in 1974.

At a stakeholders meeting on Thursday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, the state government said it has the record of all the people it paid compensations to over 50 years ago with their signatures or thumb prints.

Reaction to the allegation of non payment of compensation to original owners of the landed properties, a Director in the state Geographic Information Service (GIS), Oluwafunke Olanrewaju, added that the records and names of those compensated are with the Service.

Mrs Olanrewaju said: “Most of the structures erected by the villagers on the polytechnic land don’t have titles. Incidentally, the Land Use Act of 1975 confers ownership of all lands to the government..”

Giving a historical breakdown of the acquisition of the land, Abubakar Aremu, a surveyor, said that a meeting was held between the then state government and absentee land owners in 1975 where portion of the land was excised for some villages for settlement.

Earlier, Protem National President, Kwara state Polytechnic Alumni Worldwide, Engr Abu Salami, lamented that both the state government and the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) lacked the political will to initiate the process of legally taking over the property and officially hand the same over to the polytechnic.

Engr Salami pleaded with the students that their reason for inviting them to the stakeholders forum was not to foment trouble, but for them to also know about their concerns and to arm them with historical facts concerning the land of the Polytechnic.


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