…urges community leaders to embrace peace

Following an earlier meeting between the governments of Edo and her sister state, Delta, Chairman of the Edo State Boundary Committee and Deputy Governor of the state, Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu, has held a meeting with representatives of some Edo communities to resolve the lingering disputes over boundaries.

According to Shaibu, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration is committed to resolving all disputes in Edo communities to ensure peaceful coexistence and pave way for investments.

In his welcome address at the intra-state boundary meeting with leaders of the communities with boundary disputes in Government House, Benin City, the Deputy Governor explained that the state government has done a lot in enthroning and maintaining law and order across the state, and urged the various community representatives to give peace a chance in their respective communities.

He assured that the Obaseki administration has the willpower to resolve all boundary-related disputes within the state, and stressed that peace is an essential ingredient for development.

He said: “We have a governor with private sector orientation and who has been attracting foreign investment from all over the world to take advantage of the positive economic outlook of Edo State.

“We need peace in the state and I urge all the leaders of the various communities to embrace peace in your domain as there can’t be development without peace. I urge you all to activate love that would bring peace in your areas of influence.”

He told the community leaders that the state government would give them three options in resolving lingering dispute over land, and explained that the first option is that the communities have a one month window which will expire on August 18, 2018, to resolve their differences and call on the government to sign, demarcate and gazette the agreed upon outcomes.

The second option is for the parties that refuse to agree, to formally write to the government to wade into the issues and will have no option than to agree with the decisions of the state government. He added that such communities have two weeks after the expiration of the one-month period, that is, till September 1, 2018, to communicate their position to government.

Shaibu further said that the third option will allow the state government to take over the land in dispute if the communities fail to agree on a solution, and the land will become the property of the state government.

He urged the communities to embrace the first option and settle their disputes amicably before inviting the government to sign the document and gazette their positions.

High Priest Nomuovbiekpen Uwague Idehen, the Ohen Obaro of Iyanomo Community, in Uhunmwode Local Government Area, and Eshiefaotsa Sylvanus of Ayogwuri Community in Etsako West Local Government Area, both in Edo State, thanked the deputy governor and the boundary dispute resolution committee for ensuring peace in the state.

They assured that they would embrace the first option to resolve their issues themselves and invite the government thereafter.