Bayelsa resolves land dispute between community, Nigerian Navy
Governor Douye Diri, who spoke at Government House, Yenagoa with members of the committee on the matter, pointed out that available facts showed that the Navy was the rightful owner of the disputed land.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, disclosed that the governor commended the committee headed by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Konbowei Benson, for doing a good job, which according to him, prevented crisis.
The governor also commended the Navy for its patience during the period of the committee’s work and stressed the need for individuals and groups, particularly security agencies, to work with the government to sustain peace in the state.
He said the government was committed to the peaceful co-existence of residents and lauded the former landlords for not taking the laws into their hands, but reported the matter to the government for necessary action.
“We would have had a bloodbath, but the committee’s work averted that. Actually, the report shows that there was no dispute between the Navy and those who bought the land without ascertaining whether it was already acquired.
“Clearly, the Nigerian Navy had no other contender for the land. Maybe the only person who would have had issues with the Navy would have been Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (rtd.), who sold it. So, the Nigerian Navy did not commit any offence,” he said.
Governor Diri stressed from henceforth, people who are interested in buying land would visit the Ministry of Lands and Housing, insisting that ignorance was not an excuse under the law.
On the former claimants’ appeal for compensation, Diri said the state government would consider their request and a decision communicated to them through the Ministry of Lands.
On his part, Benson said it discovered that the Navy was the rightful owner of the land, but as part of its recommendations, the committee appealed to the governor to support the former claimants to enable them to relocate.
Some of the former landlords admitted that they erred, but appealed to Governor Diri to support them by providing some form of compensation for their loss.
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