• Peaceful co-existence crucial to devt –Oba of Benin
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and investors from Asia, at the weekend, toured communities located along the River Niger belt, in Esan South East Local Government area of the state, to ascertain the land available for rice production.
The governor said his administration has received a list of enquiry from foreign investors on rice production hence the need to explore the land mass located along the river belt.
Specifically, the governor visited Illushi, a fishing and rice producing community along the River Niger belt.
Speaking to newsmen, Obaseki said his administration was partnering investors to boost rice production in the state. “We have an aggressive drive for agriculture and rice has been identified as one of the major crops we have comparative advantage in the state.”
“We have received enquiry from international investors who want land for rice production and we have identified all the areas that are close to the River Niger such as Illushi, Anegbete as areas where good quality rice can be grown.
“So, we came here to see for ourselves what is available so that we can send the technical people to do the survey and make all the plans ready for investors,” he said.
The governor said he was optimistic that transaction plans would be finalised before the planting season.
Meanwhile, Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, yesterday, said peaceful co-existence of various ethnic groups is crucial to social-economic development of the state.
The monarch said this when he hosted the Igbo Community Union in the state, in his palace, yesterday.
He said he was poised and committed to welcome and accept various ethnic groups who are law abiding and have respect for the tradition and culture of the land.
“I will accommodate various ethnic groups which are law abiding and have respect for culture and tradition of the land,” he said. Oba Ewuare said he was interested in accommodating any ethic group from any part of the world that will have respect for traditional institutions and the law of the land.
The Oba said he was pleased with the large crowd of Igbo extraction during his coronation and showered encomiums on them for abandoning their businesses to felicitate with him on his ascension to the throne of his ancestors.
Stressing his determination to provide an enabling and rancour-free environment in ensuring economic development of the state, the monarch urged the groups to join the government and traditional institutions to realise the dream economic growth of the state
He promised to look into proposed international market site at Utte that was allegedly frustrated by the activities of community development association (CDA) and enjoined the youths to shun anti-socio behaviours that could destroy their future.
The visitors had earlier through their President, Prof. Nathaniel Aniekwu told the Benin monarch that they were at his palace to congratulate him on his successful ascension to the throne of his ancestors as well as to pledged their unflinching loyalty and support to the palace.
Aniekwu expressed hope that their presence at the palace will strengthen the existing peace between the Benin monarch and the various ethnic groups in the state.