July 20, 2024

Forceful Takeover of Lands: Gov Obaseki Sends Commissioners to Streets to Beg Edo People

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By Reporter

Worried about the reality of the defeat of Mr. Asue Ighodalo, his annionted candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has dispatched all his Commissioners to the streets of Benin City and elsewhere in Edo State to plead for forgiveness and also to make some outrageous promises, including offers of lands.

Two Commissioners, Commissioner of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Ms Isoken Omo and Commissioner for Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbeide Ifaluyi-Isibor were seen in a video speaking to nobody in an undisclosed location.

In the video seen by Midwest Herald, the two commissioners were in self dialogue obviously acting a deceptive script to assuage the pains of those Governor Obaseki had earlier destroyed their house and refused to compensate them for their losses.

One of the commissioners, Omo was heard telling the other that: “Those with Government issued Agric CofO at the New Coral City near Obagie community who had their farms and buildings taken or demolished, are to get compensations and rights of first refusal at the new city from next 2 weeks.

“He is a compassionate and empathetic governor with love for his people. Thank you, Governor Godwin Obaseki. When the 2nd Edo Renaissance history is told years from now, it will be very kind to you as not only the father, it will also recognize your human touch especially when it comes to the love you have for Edo State and her people.”

The latest deceptive move by government two years after Obaseki ordered the demolition of over 200 houses in some communities at Oke-oroma and Obagie communities in Edo South.

Several developers were made homeless, including a young man who identified himself as Osagie Wealth Efe that was sighted alongside his three kids and a pregnant wife after his home was destroyed and rendered home on September 29, 2022.

Other land developers numbering over 100 had protested along major streets in Benin city to register their grievances over Obaseki’s action.

It will be recalled that the Edo Government on Sept. 29 demolished over 200 houses in Oke-Oroma, Obagie Nevbosa, Obayantor 1, and Ewhrekpen communities.

According to the state government, the owners of the houses encroached on the land acquired for a new town project in 2017.

But during their protest, the developers, who were joined by other residents in the communities, described the action of the government as illegal, noting that the state High Court had in its ruling before the demolition restrained the state government against the action.

Speaking with newsmen, Mr. Ojo Collins who said he genuinely bought the land in the community in 2017 and 2022, demanded. He also said government should refrain from calling them land grabbers as they consulted the Edo Geographical Information System before buying lands in the community.

Collins, said he lost property worth over N100 million to the demolitions.

“We want the state government to tender unresolved apology to the victims as well as pay us compensation.

“The government should change the narratives that we are land grabbers. I bought my land genuinely. I pay my tax and the state government EdoGis give us permission to buy land there.

“We also want protection to for all those that buy land there. The money I lost if I am to quantify it it should be over N100million”, he added.

Aso speaking, a developer who identified himself as Osagie Wealth Efe whose residence and four other properties were demolished by the State government at Oke-oroma and Obagie communities has urged Nigerians and the world at large to come to his aid.

Osagie Wealth Efe said he alongside his three kids and pregnant wife have been rendered homeless since the demolition of his home on September 29, 2022.

Efe who stated that he buys and sells properties disclosed that he had spent over N70 million on the affected properties and therefore has nothing left on him to take care of his family.

On government call on developers to present their documents for verification and compensation, Efe had little faith in government when he said: “I have done that… How are we sure of government sincerity. He was obviously right as it has taken Obaseki almost two years to cunningly ‘promise’ some conditional compensation.

“How can a government demolish people’s homes before calling for verification. Verification ought to have come first”, Efe added.

The State Commissioner for information, Mr. Chris Nehikare had said “the land was acquired by the government in 2017 and gazetted for the new town project, but had been encroached upon by land speculators.”

It is however curious to note that commissioner Omo and her entourage were draped in AI, O2 Peoples Democratic Party campaign apparel which gave them away as using the statement to merely campaign for votes from those the present government have dispossessed of their homes.

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