• Orders probe of military officers selling community lands
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has given marching orders to the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, as well as the Service Chiefs, to investigate and prosecute 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 a 100-year-old old monarch, Dr. Laiteguen Ogbon-Ogoni Oghoro 1, on a courtesy visit to the president, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, drew his attention to the practise and pleaded with to prevail on the military to return their lands which are 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 being being farmed out in parcels and sold out for non-military uses. We request that such lands be returned to the owner communities in Urhoboland,” the delegation pleaded.
On his part, Buhari assured that military officers selling the lands would be dealt with.
On restructuring, the president noted that the issue can only be resolved by the Constitution. He, however, noted that every group asking for restructuring have personal agenda.
“You mentioned something which is topical these days, the cause of restructuring Nigeria.
“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,” the president said.
Buhari pleaded with the Urhobo nation to protect oil installations in their communities the way they protected it during the 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party administration.
He also told them that the request for a Urhobo indigene to become a cabinet member is 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 UPU President General, Olorogun Moses Taiga, told the president to ensure restructuring of the country and that there is serious hunger and poverty in the country which require immediate solution.