By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—FOLLOWING the alleged invasion of Oghede community of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State by the Nigerian army over disputed land, the Obasogie of Benin Kingdom, Chief Eduwu Ekhator, has urged the Army to stop further actions capable of creating tension in their host community.
Meanwhile, the people of Oghede community, have expressed fears over the alleged militarization of the community, saying that the presence of soldiers in the community was scaring their women and children from going to their farms.
Also speaking, a leader of the community, Pa Lawrence appealed to the state government to “call the army to order, let them leave our community and go to the area we gave them which is their barrack. Our children and wives can no longer go to our farms due to fear of army presence everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Chief Ekhator, who commended the state government for wading into the crisis between the army and the community over land dispute, urged the army to show restraint as both the army and the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare 11 were looking into the matter with a view to find lasting solution to the problem.
He said: “The army’s primary duty is defending the country’s territorial integrity and that does not include preventable face-off with their host communities. We are not aware of any law of the land which confers powers to any association to take laws into their hands. ”