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Edo Communities Cry Out Over Alleged Harassment, Write AIG

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

The inhabitants of Avbiugo and Ebowie communities in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State have cried out over alleged harassment and intimidation by some settlers in their communities.

The protesters, who were at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Benin, brandished placards with the inscriptions “Avbiugo and Ebowie are lawful people, we believe in justice, leave our land alone, Mr. Governor, help us to ensure peace in our communities. The people of Avbiugo and Ebowie beg you sir” and others.

Speaking for the communities, Mr. Atoe Efosa, said that the major occupation of the people of the communities are farming and that they welcome other strangers into their communities provided that, they are not in to foment troubles among their host communities.

He said the father of the present Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, once lived in their community and they are known for peace adding that, it is very funny for those who they accommodated many years ago, to now lay claim of their land.

“Our business there is farming. There is always a room to accommodate those who come from neighbouring states to farm and those for many years, they have been there, doing their businesses, living together, one of them, is the Iyase of Benin Kingdom.

“His father came to that community to do timber business. From there, he gave birth to the present Iyase and you know how many years we are talking about.

“We lived together in peace and now, few years ago, some miscreants came up and said the land belong to them.

“We are not driving them, they gave birth to them in that community. We lived as brothers and for them to come to say that we don’t have the land, they own the land, we are asking how? Let us see the history of the land and the history is very clear.

“So, the two families of Avbiugo and Ebowie are now saying no, you people live in the river side and in that river side, is not linked to the road. If you want to come, we can make adjustment, all plans to negotiate well, has falled and now, our women, daughters can no longer go to the farms.

“The women go to the farms to harvest their products, they will chase them from the farms, carry their products to go and sell, those who have goats, they will kill and eat with impunity”, Efosa lamented.

Efosa further called on the Assistant Inspector General of Police to wade in and bring those fomenting problems in their communities to book so that, there can be peace.

Welcoming the protesters to the Press Centre, the chairman, NUJ, Edo State council, Festus Alenkhe urged them to go about their protest peacefully and should not allow anyone infiltrate their ranks to perpetrate trouble.

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