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Road Project: Four Corpses Exhumed in Ekiti as Natives Protest

The demolition of houses to pave way for road construction in Ado – Ekiti , Ekiti State capital , took a more serious turn on Thursday when about four corpses were exhumed as part of the exercise.

It was learnt that seven tombs had been marked for exhumation, out of which four had been destroyed as of Thursday .
An eyewitness , who craved anonymity , told NAN that as of the close of work on Thursday , no fewer than four corpses had been exhumed , while the remaining might still be exhumed .

A native and relative of one of the deceased whose corpses were exhumed , also lamented that the compensation that the government claimed it paid did not cover the displacement of corpses and the cost of transferring the corpses to another location.
Meanwhile , hundreds of custodians and worshippers of deities and shrines in the state capital on Friday protested against the plan to demolish some sacred places in the town.

It was learnt that the protesters engaged the bulldozer operators in a bid to prevent further demolition after Thursday ’ s exercise . It was gathered that shops, houses and makeshift stores adjacent to the palace of the Ewi of Ado – Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe , were pulled down .
The Friday protest was also said to have been fuelled by the suspicion by the protesters that the bulldozers returned on Friday to pull down structures close to the two shrines and two sacred trees in the town.

The names of the two shrines were given as “ Ogun” and “Ejeye Oka Ere ”, located within the premises of the Arowa of Ado Ekiti ’ s court .
Other witnesses confirmed to NAN that worshippers of the deities prevented the bulldozers from pulling down the deities . Armed security personnel were also said to have immediately been drafted to the area , including the entrance to the palace of the Ewi to prevent breakdown of law and order.

It was learnt that the protest later led to the temporary suspension of demolition works around the shrines .
The state government had said in March that it had so far demolished over 300 houses in Ado -Ekiti , Ikere- Ekiti , Efon Alaaye – Ekiti , Omuo -Ekiti , Ise – Ekiti , Emure – Ekiti and Ijero- Ekiti in continuation of its urban renewal programme .

The government also said it had paid about N400m as compensation to affected persons .
Also , the State Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development , Mr Tayelolu Otitoju , had said that government embarked on the project to ease traffic congestion and adhere to government’ s urban policy .

He also pointed out that government would not compensate owners of demolished houses that were built on waterways and those that did not comply with the necessary setbacks . He said such property owners had been warned in the past .

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