Edo Govt reclaims 1229 hectares of land from grabbers
…Commences demolition of 106 buildings
Edo State government has commenced the demolition of illegal structures built on the state government land measuring, one thousand two Hundred and Twenty Nine, along Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road, Benin City.
The State Commissioner for communication and Orientation, Mr. Chris Nehikhare who said the exercise is to pave way for a New town Project, on Thursday said that out of the one hundred and twenty-nine buildings marked for demolition, only One Hundred and Six were demolished in the affected areas.
According to the government, the exercise, is aimed at dislodging land-grabbers on the land located along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road, to pave the way for the development of a new town project.
The affected land measures 1229 hectares.
In a press statement signed by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation Chris Osa Nehikhare read in part;
“The land was acquired in 2017 for the new town project but had been encroached upon by land speculators. The area repossessed used to be the Ogba Forest Reserve at the time of the acquisition.
The repossession exercise is part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s renewed campaign against land-grabbing in the state, aimed at restoring sanity in land administration in the state.
You will recall that a curfew was declared in the area for 24 hours starting from 12am, September 29 to 12am September 30, 2022 in the Obazagbon-Ogheghe axis of the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road to make way for this exercise.
On the operation in the communities, government officials entered the area at about 3.00am this morning with the full complement of security personnel. The area was repossessed with no casualty. The exercise is going on peacefully.
The government has taken over all the buildings within the Ogba River Forest Reserve and is removing all buildings, except for those it may use as offices. We thank all security agencies, members of the affected communities, the general public and the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) involved with the exercise for their cooperation.
For the records, the land was acquired in July 2017 was duly gazetted. The government had tried severally to engage the four communities involved but they have always rebuffed the government. The hostilities and widespread encroachment have made it difficult to enumerate and commence compensation assessments.
Once the repossession is completed, enumeration will commence and payment will be made to the rightful occupants who were there prior to the acquisitions.
Total structures marked today are 106 and 24 will not be demolished. The others are being demolished and the perimetre of the site is being trenched.
This is an ongoing operation and we will continue to provide you updates as the days go by.”