Security operatives arrest 5 protesters of Oke- Oroma community over agitation against demolition by Edo govt


Five people who are said to be from Oke_ Oroma community in Ikpoba okha local government have been arrested by security operatives for being part of protesters agitating against the demolition of their property .

The arrest was carried out at the premises of the National Museum in Benin City.

One of the protesters who spoke to newsmen said combined team of security agencies made up of Department of State Security Service (DSS), policemen stormed the venue with three hilux vehicles full of personnel, two prado Jeeps, Armoured Tank and Machine guns after the protest.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the protesters were in the museum premises to round off the protest when the security agencies stormed on them.

He said the five persons which include one Comrade Ojo Collins and four others.

He said they are yet to know where the arrested persons were taken to.

Earlier, the Oke-Oroma community and the land developers had in the morning took to the streets to protest against the demolitions of their property and alleged forcefully annexation of the land by the state government.

Besides the indigenes and the victims of the demolition, traditionalists also took part in the peaceful protest in the midst of security agencies watch.

The traditionalists cladded in red attires, carried clay pot filled with substances and a chicken to add an impetus to the seriousness of the protest; masquerades were also not left out in the protest.

The traditionalists and the masquerades were also said to be victims of the demolition.

It was gathered that the shrines of the traditionalists located in the community was taken over by the government.

The protest climaxed at the ministry of Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, and Development as well as the ministry of Justices where the traditionalists with barehand slaughtered live chicken, danced round the clay pot and recite some incantations.

The traditionalists called on the ancestors to come to their rescue and fight those allegedly taking over their ancestral lands .

The protest, however, resulted to gridlock around the ever busy Ovorawmen square, popularly knowns as Ring road, Airport road, Sapele road as well as the adjoining streets.

Speaking at the protest, Madam Inibokun Monday, Mr Terry Ilevbare, Monday Edo Omorogiuwa and Comrade Emmanuel Aigbogun, Public Relations Officer, Talakawa Parliament accused the Edo State government of contempt of court.

They alleged that an Edo High Court, sitting in Benin City and presided over by Vestee Eboreime had on August 4, 2022 restrained the state government and its agents from taking possession of their disputed land pending the determination of the substantive suit.

While lamenting that state government who is supposed to obey the rule of law now acting contrary noted that the government cannot be a judge in their own case.

The protesters who added that the community had been existing for the past 2000 years, urged the state government to produce the documents for acquisition of the 1229 hectares of their land.

The protesters accused the state commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of not properly advising the state government on the implications of court of contempt.

They, however, vowed not to end the protest against the demolition and the alleged forcefully annexation of their land until justice is done.

Recall that the State Government had November 2, 2022 revealed that the alleged land grabbers collected over N1.5billion from their preys in the last two years.

The Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon Chris Nehikhare ,who gave the revelation at a press conference told newsmen that the information was obtained from 499 people who are victims of land grabbers that came for data capturing and enumeration.

Nehikhare said the money was collected from the victims by the land grabbers between 2020 and 2022 respectively

He, however, disclosed that the victims of the land grabbing will be restituted from whatever it was able to get from the land grabbers especially from the N1.5billion.

The commissioner added that the names of those identified will soon be announced, charged to court and prosecuted.

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