By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A 92 years old farmer, Pa Ogande Akya Addra of Galadima Ward, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State has cried out over what he alleged as threat to life and attempt by some senior military officers, led by M. Gidado playing a role to forcefully take over his farmland.
He is appealing to the Commander of 4 Special Forces Command, Nigerian Army in Doma, Maj. Gen. Hillary Nzan and meaningful public to intervene by ensuring that he gets justice on the matter.
The farmland according to him, is located opposite the Military Barracks in Doma.
According to a letter titled, “Save my Soul” made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, the nonagenarian stated that he got the shock of his life on the fateful day of September 28, 2023, when two of his sons, Eugene Atakwe Ogande and Ishaleku Ogande rushed home to complain to him about an encounter with the Senior officer, (M. Gidado) who ordered them to vacate the land noting that the officer gave the order at the barracks, after summoning them through his emissary.
“As if that was not enough, Eugene was again called by the same officer on the 30th day of September, 2023 and ordered him to go and rebuild a beacon as claimed allegedly destroyed by him or else he would be decisively dealt with,” he said.
According to him, since the fateful encounter between his children and the officer, his life appeared to be gradually ebbing out of him, being his only means of livelihood.
The nonagenarian and father of 37 children with over 70 grand, great grand children become worried and traumatized as he lamented his ordeal at the time of filing this report.
He said, what baffled him is that he has never met the said officer, neither had he any issue with the military to warrant such a directive.
As the situation stands, he explained that he lives under fear of the unknown, since the officer never deemed it necessary to come to him, but was quick to issue a threat to deal with whomever enters the farm land henceforth.
While providing a historical background, he revealed that the farmland is a customary land inherited from his father who deforested the land and had farmed on it and thereafter, he took over after his father’s death for a period that spans over 150 years.
Moreover, in line with the requirement of modernity, he said that he approached the then Village head of Doma, Ada Akabe Oshigada and later the local government authority, who validated his right of ownership of the farm land, which Gidado threatens to deal with him and his children if they dare set foot on.
Giving more insight on the land, he explained that he has been enjoying undisturbed possession of the
land since deforestation until the year 2007, when one Ahmed Bako and Bako Doma & Sons Nig. Ltd began to lay sudden claims to the land.
He said such claims led to litigation in the court and he won the case against the plaintiff.
After the litigation, he continued to enjoy and exercise unfettered possession till this year (2023) when the family of Usman
Osabo started encroaching violently on the land.
He added that the the life threatening act of this people have increasingly continued unabated.
“Presently, they have resorted to embarking on various kinds of activities on the land, by cutting down trees, making demarcations vide, erection of cemented beacons, farming and alteration of boundaries.
“We make bold to state that the forgoing ungraceful and nefarious attitude of these fellows has translated to aggravated and unabated impunity aided and guaranteed by your gallant officers.
“It is for this reason that I call on the GOC of Doma Military Barracks to SAVE MY SOUL from people that are trying to take advantage of the military for a civil case.”
He noted, ” We humbly crave your indulgence to invoke the instrumentality of your highly exalted office to call the soldiers involved in this self assigned duty to order as the issued is currently pending at the court of Justice.
When our correspondent contacted the Army Public Relations Officer of Four Special Forces Command at Doma, Deputy Director, Major Joseph Afolasade denied knowledge of the incident relating to the military involvement on the farmland issue.
He assured our reporter that he will investigate the issue and get back accordingly to ensure amiable resolution between the parties involved.