Edo State government has given illegal occupiers of its land ten days ultimatum to quit or forfeit their property. The Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele who read the riot act stated this at the premises of Benin Technical College, Benin City, where several portions of the state’s land have been taken over by businessmen and private developers.
He expressed shock that individuals and groups could convert the land mass allocated to the school and perfected 50 years ago to private uses.“There is a survey plan that was approved in 1966 and signed by the Surveyor General in 1967 that is 50 years ago specifically to accommodate the Benin Technical College. The land starts from opposite Dewosco straight to Ikpoba River and over the years, the school has operated from here. After sometimes, Iyobha College was also established and located within the perimeter of the land, then Eweka Grammar School as well as a primary school.
“ But some people have taken laws into their hands by encroaching into the Benin Technical College land. There is a cattle ranch, a sawmill and temporary shelters but we have seen permanent structures and private houses built inside the land.
This is unacceptable to government. He added: “We are fencing the school 100 percent and we have come to sensitise the people in this place to move out otherwise the property automatically becomes that of government because there is no evidence to show that government actually approved this land to any of them. We don’t want any of them to lose anything particularly those who are doing sawmill and those raring cattle”.
Reacting, some of the occupants claimed they have been there for over two decades and have been paying revenue to Egor local government, stressing that a private developer said the land was sold to him.