Don advocates enactment of new Land Use Act, return of land to customary owners
Don advocates enactment of new Land Use Act, return of land to customary owners

Don advocates enactment of new Land Use Act, return of land to customary owners
A university lecturer, Prof. Aborisade Adebayo at the weekend advocated a new Land Use Act that would return ownership of land to the people.Adebayo, who blamed the military for taking away land from the people and making them poor through the enactment of Land Use Decree, said that the new Act would enable the people and communities to own their lands and be prosperous.

The professor of English at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), spoke at Okemesi-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Council of Ekiti State, during an economic development sensitisation programme organised for the community by ‘The Likes Group’ (TLG).

In his paper titled: “Rural/Urban Migration,” the university lecturer regretted the negative role the 1976 Land Use Decree is playing on the life of original land owners, which gave arbitrary powers to government to acquire land under the guise of using them for public interest.He noted that such forceful acquisition was one of the factors negatively affecting many communities in engaging in self-determination activities such as establishment of schools and industries, among others, without first seeking permission from government.

He urged a return to the era of pre-Independence days when original owners of lands had direct control over them, and community cities were allowed to make inputs into plans of government for them in terms of what area of need they considered central to them.He said since the Land Use Act was a constitutional issue, there would be need for the amendment of the constitution.

The lecturer warned political leader not to toy with will of the people by refusing to return land ownership to them, saying that the current protest in France, Hong Kong and even the Arab Spring would be a child-play when people are pushed to the wall.The university don, who spoke on the issue of rural/urban migration, said that the colonial masters handed over a violent state to the people, noting that leaders have continued to violate the land and the people began to migrate in search of greener pastures.

According to him, many of those leaving the rural communities in search of better life in urban cities, but without requisite training in any area of human life, are the ones who ultimately opt to become touts or ready tools for politicians in their quest to survive.He blamed government at all levels for the trend, saying everything humanly possible must be done to tackle it without further delay.

In a welcome address by the outgoing Mayor of TLG, Mr. Ropo Okunmuyide, he said the group was formed to promote the socio-economic aspirations of the community as well as empower the less-privileged in the area.Chairman, TLG organising committee, Mr. Bayo Ogunyemi, disclosed that the group had also intervened in disaster situations in the community as well as initiated community-based projects in the town.

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