From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, said that all lands acquired by the state government are aimed at creating employment and improving livelihoods of the citizenry in the state.
He said he didn’t use the power vested on him by the Land Use Act of 1978 to enrich his pockets but for the good of the state.
He said this in Benin on Tuesday at the correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State council 2021 annual lecture in reaction to allegation that state governors use the Act to acquire land for themselves and their cronies.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, said the reason behind the government’s acquisition of lands is for the overall benefits of the people of the state.
” Edo state government does not acquire property for itself but the people. All decision in that lines is always in the best interest of the state”
Speaking on the theme, “Menace of land grabbing and the threat to public peace”, a Benin based human rights activist, Dele Igbinedion, advocated repeal of land use Act which vested land on the state government.
He noted the Act was created as an avenue for state governors to see themselves as the owners of land.
He listed government, through the instrument of Land Use Act, law enforcement agencies, legal system, communities as some of the issues militating against addressing land grabbing.
Earlier, the correspondents’ chairman, Mrs. Nefishetu Yakubu, said the topic was chosen in order to find solution to the menace of land grabbing because of its attendant effect, especially to the poor people.
She said though It (land grabbing” is a national challenge, land-related crisis has become endemic in Edo state, as buying a piece of land and developing the property had become a herculean task in the state,