From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Government explained yesterday that four communities who are owners of the land it repossessed yesterday, rebuffed the government during negotiations.
“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”, the statement Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare said in a statement.
Speaking on yesterday security operation in the communities, Nehikhare added that “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
“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”, the further stated.