Oghara indigenes protest against alleged Navy’s take-over of land
Indigenes of Oghara in Delta State have protested against alleged forceful and illegal acquisition of their land by Nigerian Navy Logistic Command in their state.
The protesting indigenes, who besieged the Benin-Warri highway as early as 7:30 a.m., blocked the road.
Also, business activities in the home-town of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, were partially brought to a halt.
The protesters complained that the Navy forcibly occupied a community land measuring 600×600 hectares even after several representations made to the naval authorities for a peaceful settlement or payment of compensation to the land-owners failed.
Besides, the Oghara people claimed they have through a court injunction demanded that the Navy vacate their land, on which they said, they intend to build houses, farm-lands and various businesses.
Spokesman of Oghara community, Chief Stephen Egbivwre, said: “In 2006 when the Nigerian Navy requested for land for construction of a barrack, a piece of land in the community which was initially meant for the Nigerian Mobile Force was traded to them and the police relocated to Ogharefe. But the Navy has illegally acquired all land and added more piece of land to the one allocated to them.”
But the Flag Officer Commanding the Logistic Command, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Begroy Iben-Enwo, said the Navy was “always at peace with the community and that there was no intention to illegally acquire the land in dispute.”
He said that when the land in dispute was given to the Navy, measuring 30 hectares, a representation was made to the Delta State government for more land to build other things, and additional 234 hectares of land were approved.
He said Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) was subsequently issued sometimes last year to authenticate the Navy’s ownership of the land.
On the injunction allegedly issued by the High Court in the area restraining the Navy from further entering the land, the Navy boss said he was not aware, adding: “We will abide by the court injunction immediately we receive ours.”