Some deaf and dumb persons on Monday staged a peaceful protest against what they termed as “illegal acquisition” of 20 acres of their land by the Oyo State Government.
Reporters were led by the National Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of Christian Mission for the Deaf, Mr. Silas Ike.
Ike, while describing the acquisition as illegal, said the mission bought 39 acres of land on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in 2004 with a plan to build the first special university for the deaf and dumb in the country and Africa on it.
The protesters, who stormed the Agodi Government Secretariat, carried placards with various inscriptions, such as: “We need more than 39 acres for the proposed university”; “We want our land for proposed university”; “Please, do not oppress the deaf”; “Do not resettle people on our land”, “We bought our land with donations from people.”
Others read, “The deaf have rights to live better life”; “We need our land for school”; “Oyo State government should not forcefully occupy the deaf’s land”; “We need our land for vocational training and deaf university” and “The deaf are helpless, please.”
However, Commissioner for Land and Housing, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, who addressed the protesters, assured them that he would meet the governor, who he said was out of the state, on the matter.
Omodewu assured the protesters of facilitating a meeting with their representatives in the next one week.