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Residents Appeal to Obaseki For Resettlement, Accuse Soldiers of Burning Down Ijaw Communities In Edo




Stakeholders and civil society organizations have urged the Edo State Government to resettle displaced indigenes of Agbede, Oweike, and Opuba communities, following alleged military attacks that led to the burning down of their homes. The stakeholders said the attack was allegedly carried out by the Nigerian army and G2G Security Limited, employed by Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc.

It was alleged that on May 9th and 10th, the Nigerian army and G2G Security Limited personnel invaded and burned down Agbede, Oweike, and Opuba communities, chasing away indigenes and looting Okorodudu 1&2 communities. Also further destroyed properties and valuables worth millions of naira.

According to an eyewitness, Mr. Kaysman Ogorye, he alleged that the leader of G2G security limited had earlier directed the indigenes to leave the community, claiming that they wanted to arrest suspected persons in the vicinity. However, it turned out as a ploy to burn down the community and grab their farmlands.

In the same vein, Mr. Richard Jomini, coordinator of the Movement for the Development, Emancipation, and Survival of Okomu Kingdom, said the indigenes are still in disarray, taking shelter in the forest, and facing hunger and various sicknesses. “They are seeking help. The Nigerian army and G2G security limited, in collaboration with Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, have denied the indigenes access to their communities”, he added.

The stakeholders have called on the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the condition of the displaced persons and resettle them back to their communities. They also refuted claims that Lawrence and Alfred Yanbor were responsible for the burning down of the communities, stating that it was a fabrication.

The statement reads, “My attention had been drawn to the news online alleging that one Lawrence and Afred Yanbor and their groups were responsible for the burning down of Agbede, Oweike and Opuba communities which is an unfounded tale. This should be disregarded. We know those who are carrying out these lies to cover up their evil deeds. It is members of the G2G security limited, employed by the Okomu oil Palm Company PLC that misinformed the Nigerian army that there are terrorists in Okomu Forest but it is amazing that they couldn’t discover any sign of terrorism and they just burnt down peace loving communities. If there’s a terrorist group in Okomu forest as claimed by G2G, they should first check the security outfit G2G because they are the real terrorist group terrorizing Okomu and its environs maiming and arresting our innocent youths”, Richard narrated.

A human rights advocate Comrade Lemon Austin Uduwei condemned the Ovia South West L.G.A and the Edo State governments for their inability to take responsibility and provide relief materials to the internally displaced persons. He urged the government to allow the affected indigenes to return to their communities and continue with their lives.

Lemon further argued that there is a sinister move by some unscrupulous elements to take bribes from land grabbers to forcefully evict Agbede and other communities in the Okomu kingdom from their God-given land.

He appealed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, and the Commander 4th Brigade Benin City, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Oduyebo, to order their personnel to allow the affected indigenes to return to their villages.