Fresh tension in Edo communities over land dispute

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*Elders petition IG over killing

BENIN—THERE is fresh tension in Iviukhua community, Eppa Wanno Kingdom, Agenebode and Ikphele community in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State over a disputed land, which led to the death of one Oseni Ekhamheye from Iviukhua community last month.

Iviukhua community, in a petition to the Inspector General of Police by the head of the community and Ogierumuah of Egoriland, Chief Bello Eshiebor and the President General, Dr. Kenedy Izuagbe, noted that though the police were prosecuting a person allegedly involved in the killing of Ekhamheye, youths of the area had threatened to retaliate unless the police fished out those involved in the destruction of their property and injuring of some members of the community, allegedly by Ikphele youths over the disputed land.

The community also called on the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to urgently settle the boundary dispute, insisting that those battling them over the land are settlers.

The community noted that similar attacks in other parts of the country had snowballed into unmanageable proportions, adding: “The leadership of Iviukhua community was able to prevail on its citizens, especially the youths, to prevent any reprisal attacks because we believe in peaceful and constitutional resolution of such crises.”

Stressing the need for the police to arrest and prosecute some major players in the crisis still at large, the petitioners said: “We also appeal to the relevant authorities to take urgent steps to resolve once and for all, this age-long boundary dispute between Ikphele farm settlement, claiming to be part of Okpekpe Clan and Iviukhua in Weppa Wanno Kingdom.

“We are constrained to make this appeal following the incessant attacks and destruction of our farm lands by Ikphele people over the years. Certainly, the April 13, 2014 dastardly act was a step taken too far. Historical and gazetted records clearly indicate that the locations called Ikphele and Usomhedokha are part of Iviukhua community in Weppa Wanno Kingdom.”

 

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