By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” THE people of Ebo community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State are lamen-ting what they described as unjust demolition of their houses by agents of the state government.
They have, therefore, appealed to Governor Adams Oshiomhole to intervene in the matter, explaining that the state government had earlier de-reserved the land to the community in the year 2000 and 2006. The people wondered why the govern-ment decided to demolish legal structures built on an area legitimately de-reserved to the community.
Residents of the communi-ty, led by Mr Ima Omoruyi, who stormed Vanguard office in Benin City yesterday, narrated the residentsâ€™ story:Â Â â€œFollowing the representation from Ebo community, Edo State gover-nment de-reserved 39.60 hectares of land in Ogba forest reserve to Ebo community in the year 2000.
â€œAgain, in 2006, another 30 hectares were de-reserved by the state government to Ebo community by the commissioner for agriculture and natural resources with an injunction that the community is now free to commence development of the de-reserved land before and immediately after the esstate.
â€œBased on this, we started developing the land while also allotting parts and portions of the land to individual property develo-pers without hindrance from anybody or authority.
â€œWe were surprised when officials of the Ministry of Lands and Survey and some armed Mobile Policemen came last Monday demoli-shing our houses and marking many others for demolition.
â€œWe appreciate the ongoing effort by the state government to beautify the city, but we want to say that Ebo community is not one of those communities that negligently encroached into government lands.
â€œWe, therefore, appeal to the Comrade Governor to intervene in the matter and save Ebo community from further demolition.
â€œWe appeal for proper investigation because the lands rightfully belong to our community and it was legally approved by the state government.â€