President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, gave matching orders to the Minister of Defence as well as service chiefs to investigate and bring to book those abusing the generosity of communities who donated land to the military by selling and converting some to personal use.
The Urhobo Traditional Rulers, Leadership of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, and Urhobo members in the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by 100-year-old monarch, Dr. Laiteguen Ogbon-Ogoni Oghoro 1, on a courtesy visit at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, complained to President Buhari to prevail on the military to return their lands which now being sold out for non-military uses.
“We urge the Federal Government to look into the issue of unutilised lands which we voluntarily donated to the military years ago but which are now bing being farmed out in parcels and sold out for non-military uses.
“We request that such lands be returned to the owner communities in Urhobo land,” the delegation had pleaded with the president.
President Buhari assured that military officers selling the lands donated to the military will be dealt with.
The President, who noted that the issue of restructuring can only be resolved by the constitution, however, said that every group asking for restructuring has personal agenda.
According to the president, “You mentioned something which is topical these days, the cause of restructuring Nigeria. For every group asking for restructuring has got their own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution.
“I assure you that you are not forgotten and I’m pleased you appreciate the appointments by this administration of some citizens of your kingdoms,” he said.
The President pleaded with the Urhobo nation to protect oil installations in their communities the way they protected it during the 16 years administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He, however, told them that the request for Urhobo indigene to become a cabinet member was impossible as the Constitution only specifies one person from each State of the federation and not one person from each ethnic group.
The Urhobo nation, in their address read by the President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, told the president to ensure the restructuring of the country and that there was serious hunger and poverty in the country which required immediate solution.