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Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor

Edo community protest land allotment to multinational firm

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor

By OSEHOBO OFURE

Indigenes of Orogho  Village  in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State have called on the multinational firm, Presco Plc to stop present claims that about 2,500 hectares of communal land that was recently allocated them by the Edo state government saying that they were not consulted over the transaction.

The community’s position is contained in an open letter to Presco Plc management and signed by the oldest man in the village, Pa Ferguson Osas for Orogho Concerned Indigenes, Elders in Council and Opinion Leaders.

The community stated that they were highly disturbed by ongoing speculations that their ancestral land belongs to another community called Sokponba and that it has now been allotted to the company by the Edo state government without their consent.

Titled “Provocative encroachment of Orogho land by Presco Plc”, the community said that the 14,400 hectares earlier given to the firm was yet to be put to use and wondered why the company wants another portion of land.
The statement said that ” the ongoing speculation that Presco Plc has been allocated 2,500 hectares of our land by the state government is a ruse, unfounded and far from the truth” as, “the land belongs to Orogho and not the government, any person or group of persons talk less of Delta State”.

They pointed out ” there was a formal consultation with us, the state government and the Benin monarch before approval and certificate of occupation was issued over the previous 14,400 hectares,” stressing that “Orogho land cannot be given out without our consent. For ages, it has been our ancestral land without dispute from successive governments even before the advent of the imperialists”.The statement sought to erase the notion that the present land area occupied by Presco Plc belongs to Sokponba community insisting that the area belongs to Orogho.

It also called on the company to consider giving a reasonable percentage of its work force to Edo indigenes in the spirit of local content rather than now when from Delta make up about eighty percent of the labour force.

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