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Land dispute: Two Edo communities spoil for war



The Ogieneni has in strong terms condemned comments attributed to the Otaru of Auchi, HRH Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, which was targeted at the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu over a land dispute.

The Ogieneni claimed the comments by Otaru of Auchi was to embarrass and tarnish the image of the state deputy governor.

In a statement signed by Ogieneni of Uzairue, HRH Kadiri Imonikhe Omogbai IV, the Ogieneni said they will resist any attempt from the Otaru to impugn the character of Shaibu.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Ogieneni in council has been drawn to the unguarded utterances of the Otaru of Auchi aimed at embarrassing and tarnishing the image of our son, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu. Without mincing words, we want to state categorically that.

“The Uzairue will resist any attempt from the palace of the Otaru to rubbish, embarrass, hurt or tarnish the image of our illustrious son, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu.

“As much as we are accommodating and very ready to live in peace with our neighbours, the Uzairue are not ready to yield an inch of their God-given land to any community not even the Auchi. We also want to sound it loud and clear that the friendly and accommodating nature of the Uzairue must not be taken for granted by the Otaru of Auchi.”

Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shuaibu
The Ogieneni said the land that started the dispute, one which the TNC sub-station is situated, belongs to the Uzairue, which they had to relinquish to the state government who was in need of it.

The council said it was then unthinkable that the Auchi Kingdom could lay claim to the land in question.

“However, we want to bring it to the knowledge of the general public that the land on which the TNC sub-station is cited belongs to the Uzairue. We had to let go because the State Government needed it for the good of the Etsako and indeed the Afemai people in general.”

“It is therefore unthinkable for any community, not even Auchi Kingdom to lay claim to the said land.

“We therefore condemn in its entirety the attempt by the Otaru of Auchi to politicize the issues surrounding the installation of the sub-station on the said land.”

The Ogieneni then cautioned the Otaru to stop the incitement of his subjects against the “well-thought decision of the state government” to situate the TNC sub-station on the land after years of abandonment.

“We also want to warn that the Otaru of Auchi desist forthwith the covert incitement of his subjects against the well-thought out decision of the state government to install the sub-station after about three years of deliberate abandonment,” the statement stressed.

They therefore called on the Edo State government and relevant security agencies to “check the excesses” of the Otaru of Auchi and his subjects and ensure there is no breakdown of law and order.

“We want to call on the state government and relevant security agencies to immediately check the excesses of the Otaru of Auchi and his unguarded and overzealous palace Chiefs to avert the breakdown of law and order in the local government.”

“As a kingdom, the Uzairue remains peaceful, law abiding and ready to support government decisions and action for the public good,” the statement concluded.

In his reaction, the Otaru of Auchi, Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, said the Ogieneni has the right to do anything he chooses to do, adding that he has great love for his community and does not want any ‎of his subjects to die over the land.

“That right is given to man by God. I won’t join issues with him. I want to wait to see what Government will do.

“Government has the duty and responsibility to investigate. Government cannot judge without looking at the evidence. If Government does that that would be injustice,” the Otaru said.

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