Edo State government has dislodged land-grabbers along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road, to make room for the development of a new town project.
The affected area is a land measuring 1229 hectares along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road.
The state commissioner for education and orientation, Chris Nehikhare, yesterday in Benin said the land was acquired in 2017 for the new town project but had been encroached upon by land speculators adding that the area repossessed used to be the Ogba Forest Reserve at the time of the acquisition.
He said, “The repossession exercise is part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s renewed campaign against land-grabbing in the state, aimed at restoring sanity in land administration in the state.
“You will recall that a curfew was declared in the area for 24 hours starting from 12am, September 29 to 12am September 30, 2022 in the Obazagbon-Ogheghe axis of the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road to make way for this exercise.
“On the operation in the communities, 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.”
He said the land was acquired in July 2017 and 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.