Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, allocated farmlands to 26 members of the state House of Assembly on Thursday as part of efforts to enhance food security and support the federal government’s agricultural initiative.

Abiodun handed out letters of allocation to the lawmakers at the Governor’s Office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, marking the first anniversary of the 10th legislature.

The governor stated that this initiative aims to position the state as the nation’s food basket

The decision sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with many citizens expressing their skepticism and concerns about the effectiveness and intentions behind the initiative.

Olasco Babajide voiced a common sentiment, arguing that the farmland allocation was more of a benefit for the legislators rather than a genuine agricultural initiative. He compared it to other controversial benefits enjoyed by politicians, doubting the politicians’ ability to genuinely take up farming. He remarked, “He is giving them land, not farmland. That’s their benefit just like big head Akpabio and other senators got big prayers in their mailbox.”

Similarly, Taiwo Diya questioned the integrity and practicality of the move, suggesting that the farmlands might end up in the hands of party members who would lease them out for profit rather than use them for agriculture. He said, “Nigerians and politicians for who they are might end up giving the farmlands to party members that will end up leasing it out just to make money… Those lawmakers are nothing but a bunch of thieves who are out to make money.”

Adeboye Olajide succinctly criticized the governor’s logic, asking why lawmakers were prioritized over actual farmers. “Do we still have Governors that have sense? Why give lawmakers when farmers are there?” he questioned.

Adedamola Cole raised concerns about the potential misuse of the allocated land, stressing the need for clear guidelines on the land’s use. “What is the size and what are they to plant must be clearly defined; otherwise, they will rent or sell the land because politicians cannot be good farmers,” he noted.

Ogugua Oguamanam reflected on past experiences where similar initiatives in Lagos were eventually converted into housing estates, hoping that this wouldn’t be the case in Ogun State. He remarked, “Lagos government did this under Jakande and virtually all the farmlands have been converted to Housing Estates.”

Elder Isaac Aina pointed out the security challenges that might undermine the initiative, highlighting the threats posed by Fulani herdsmen and unknown gunmen. “That is if Fulani herdsmen and unknown gunmen will allow the farmers to enjoy their farming,” he said.

Ikwe Moses Awaji Awaji saw the allocation as another scheme for corruption, suggesting that the mental health of those in power should be checked. “Another way of looting the allocation… I said the governors, even 99% in the corridors of power in Nigeria, need medical attention,” he commented.

However, Toheeb Awujoola appreciated the idea but felt it would have been better if the farmlands were given to actual farmers who need support to scale up their operations. “Brilliant idea from the government, but it would be more appropriate if it’s for the real farmers who are already into farming but no assistance to do it on a large scale,” he opined. 

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