A group in Uzanu community of Etsako east local government area of Edo, has accused the administration of Godwin Obaseki, the governor, of giving out parts of their land because Clement Agba, minister of state for budget and planning, refused to support the governor’s second term bid.
The budget minister is from the community.
In a statement, Julius Athekame, national president of Uzanu Progressive Union (UPU); and Kabiru ldris, general secretary; alleged that their land is being given to Igiode, a neighbouring community, vowing to resist any plan to cede Uzanu land to Igiode.
The union said ownership of the land in contest has long been settled in favour of Uzanu by various courts.
Interestingly, all the court cases that was adjudicated in favour of Uzanu, was initiated by the Igiode community,” the union said.
“The land dispute case commenced at Auchi high court which Igiode lost just as they also lost at appeal court and the supreme court.
“It is perceived generally as an attempt to transfer through the back door, Uzanu’s ancestral land to Igiode, a dream the latter had nursed as far back as 1973.
“The rush by the state government to gazette the ‘land grabbing’ plot is considered to be a bully tactics aimed at compensating senator Francis Alimikhena who hails from Igiode and has become a vocal apostle of the Obaseki/Shuaibu second term ticket.”
The union said Agba and Jubril Aku played crucial roles in bringing Obaseki into office.
“We have resolved to reject in its entirety the purported gazette used by the state as a yardstick to cede their communal ancestral land and resources to Igiode, a re-new twist to political vendetta,” they said.
“We support our son, prince Clem Agba, the minister of state for budget and planning in all political matters. We condemn the hatred exhibited against our son by the governor, it is uncalled for.”
Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki’s spokesman, could not be reached for reaction as of the time this report was filed as his telephone line was not available.