Edo State Government on Thursday morning rolled out bulldozers to reclaim massive portions of land measuring 1, 229 hectares in some communities in the state.
The development came barely 24 hours after the government imposed a 24- hour curfew in Ihhiri-Obazqgbon-Ogheghe,
The government in reclaiming the land explained that the acquisition is for the development of a new town in the localities.
The action has sparked tears and sorrow as property owners on the expanse of land witnessed the demolition of their structures, which are at different stages of development.
Somebody the aggrieved land owners were helpless as heavily armed security personnel watched over the demolition exercise.
The Edo State Government in a statement endorsed by Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media Project, said that the land was acquired in 2017 for the new town project but had been encroached upon by land speculators.
Osagie said that the area affected, was a forest reserve at the time of the acquisition.
The statement further clarified that the 24-hour curfew imposed on the area was to make way for the demolition and repossession exercise.
“The repossession exercise is part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s renewed campaign against land-grabbers in the state, aimed at restoring sanity in land administration in the state”.
“The government acquired the land from the community in 2016 and signed all agreements. The government left the land. We put about 24 signboards at over N2 million. But the community people removed the signboards and sold the land.
“Government has come back to take the land for the net town development with all modern facilities. The acquisition from the community was gazetted and only those who had structures on the land before 2016 will be compensated.
Those who started building after 2016 have no claim to compensation”, the government official explained.