Edo Gov’t will Demolish All buildings In Ogba Forest Reserve _ Nekiharhe

By DADA AYOKHAI

Edo state government said it has taken over the land in Ogba Forest Reserve in Benin and will also demolished all buildings erected on the said area .

The statement was disclosed by Hon Chris Osa Nehikhare, state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation in a public service announcement.

According to Hon Nekiharhe, the government will removed all buildings in the said area except for those it may use as offices.

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.

The affected area is a land measuring 1229 hectares along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road.

The statement further said the land was acquired by the state government in 2017 for a new town project but was encroached upon by land speculators. “The area repossessed used to be the Ogba Forest Reserve at the time of the acquisition.” he said.

Part of the statement reads

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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”,he added.

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