Members of Ogbe-Ezoti Community in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State on Thursday, took to the streets to protest an alleged attempt to sell their ancestral homes to individuals by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
The protesters, who blocked major roads, causing a serious traffic jam at the ever-busy Ring Road and its environs, displayed placards with inscriptions like “Obaseki, be a leader like Moses and not Pharaoh,” “Our houses are not for sale,” “Ogbe-Ezoti Community, our ancestral homes, monuments, not for sale and no negotiations,” and “Ogbe-Ezoti community has existed for more than 600 years,” among others.
Speaking to journalists, 87- year-old retired civil servant and community leader, Moses Obasuyi, said that they were against the state government’s plan to sell their ancestral land to private business owners.
He asked the government to go to communities where there was enough land.
“We are here to say no to Governor Godwin Obaseki’s proposal to take over our lands and houses. The community has been there for the past 600 years. The place has a traditional ground.
“Governments have come and gone and nobody has come there to eject us or give us any compensation as the government is claiming. We are saying no to Obaseki’s plan to take our homes and make us homeless,” he said.
Also speaking, the community’s Secretary, Douglas Osazze, said that the community was not against developmental plans by the state government, but that the government should go to communities that were begging for development.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Andrew Ewenta, could not respond, as he said he was in a meeting.
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