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No Breather For Land Grabbers, Obaseki Insists, Tours Recovered 1,229 Hectare Property 

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  5. No Breather For Land Grabbers, Obaseki Insists, Tours Recovered 1,229 Hectare Property 

By Isaac Aimurie, Henry Oqua and Tunde Tee Olatunji

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that there is no breather for land grabbers anywhere in the State as his administration is determined to recover every inch of land illegally acquired by land grabbers.

Obaseki said this in Okoroma, on Saturday, October 1, 2022, during a tour of the reclaimed land measuring over 1,229 hectares along the popular Irhirhi-Aruogba-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road in Benin City.

The Governor maintained that “there will be anarchy if land grabbers are given a breather for defrauding people and dislodging them from their properties” adding that “the land grabbers have even encroached on the reserves behind the land.”

He advised residents that going forward, “people must come and register their interests in lands with the government” and informed journalists that “22 of them are currently in custody and we will get them to refund money they collected from the people they sold this government land to, and will be prosecuted.”

Commenting on the State government’s plan for the area, Obaseki assured, “we are going to do soil tests and do proper allocation of the land to people particularly young people. The process will be open and very transparent.”

Expatiating on his administration’s high premium on law and order earlier in his Independence Day broadcast, Obaseki said: “Since I assumed office, I have placed a premium on law and order and the need to respect property rights. Without protecting the property rights of Edo citizens, it will be difficult to attract investments and capital to the state.

“Thus, we have had to rein in the activities of non-state actors and overlords who intimidate, maim, oppress and deploy the instrument of violence to defraud people and rob them of their hard-earned resources including landed properties.

“We are resolute in our determination to restore and preserve the land administration system in the state. This is why we have intensified the campaign against land-grabbing. We are determined to rid our state of these non-state actors and overlords who have become a nuisance and deprive communities and individuals of their properties. We are going to bring the full weight of the law upon the individuals and groups involved and bring the perpetrators and their collaborators to justice.

“We have taken possession of a government acquisition in the Irhirhi-Aruogba-Obazagbon-Ogheghe axis of the Benin metropolis for the development of a new town. The new town is the first phase of the Benin Masterplan, which is intended to redistribute the city’s population in a properly planned settlement. I want to assure the citizens of Edo State that my government has set up a special squad which will recover every inch of land illegally converted by land grabbers from communities and individuals.”

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