Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Communities in Edo State have vowed to resist the state government’s decision to allegedly cede their lands to some multinational in the state without the consent of the people.
The communities described the decision by the state government to forcefully acquire their ancestral lands and cede same to investors, as a subtle means of telling them to go into extinction.
The Coalition Against Land Grabbing & Deforestation (CALD), supported by Okpamakhin Communities Initiative, who stated this yesterday, in Benin City, said the people have resolved to take back their lands.
Addressing the Media, the Coordinator, and Founder of Okpamakhin Communities Initiative, Mr. Tony Erha, said that they have over the past 10 years conducted 28 protests to draw government attention but all fell on deaf ears.
He said they have instituted a case billed for hearing at the ECOWAS court and other courts in Nigeria with the hope that justice will be delivered
Erha, maintained that, despite the cases at the ECOWAS and other lower Courts, the people have been subjected to hardship and denied access to agricultural produce.
He urged the people to consider voting for the right people ahead of the state House of Assembly to liberate them from untold hardships.
Also, one of the communities representative, Curtis Ogbebor, who spoke on behalf of the Evbuesi Community in the Orhionmwon Local Government Area, claimed his people were currently facing similar situations.
He condemned the deforestation of forest reserves meant for the people which he said, play pivotal roles in environmental and health reservations within the communities.
Ogbebor urged the government to reconsider the decision, stressing that governments at all levels are meant to hold land in trust for the people, citing Section 1 of the 1978 Land Decree, to buttress his claims.
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