Tales of Grabland

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Land Justice for West Africa | 8 October 2014

Tales of Grabland

Despite the opposition of thousands of rural smallholder farmers, the Rivers State Government is adamant about its plans to appropriate over 2,000 hectares of ancestral farmlands of Ogoni communities in Tai and Khana Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. The state government intends to hand over the land to a private company registered in Mexico, Union De Iniciativa S.A. de C.V., for the development of a commercial banana plantation. This is a prominent example of property speculation via so called public-private partnerships, which leads to displacement of urban and rural populations. The government has resorted to force in its bid to grab their land, ignoring the concerns of affected communities and the broader civil society. Social and economic hardship, human rights abuses, including killings by state agents, and a general condition of insecurity has been characterized by the forced eviction.

Members of affected communities fear that the land grab will have adverse impacts on local food production and livelihoods – in both the short and long term, which government has not adequately considered. Best practice requires that land expropriation for public purposes be preceded by careful and inclusive consultation, compensation and resettlement of affected communities. For those losing lands, adequate alternatives ought to be provided, to ensure continued farming and other livelihood.

Part 1


Part 2
Original source: LJ4WA
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