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Tension, Uncertainty as Illegal Occupiers of Delta University Land Get Demolition Notice - TELL Magazine

Tension, Uncertainty as Illegal Occupiers of Delta University Land Get Demolition Notice

Delta State Government is set to repossess lands belonging to the state-owned Dennis Osadebay University, Asaba illegally sold by suspected land speculators. To this effect, the government, through its Taskforce on Recovery of Government Lands, on Tuesday, issued demolition notice to the illegal occupants.

The Chairman of the Taskforce, Frank Omare, gave the demolition notice when he inspected the affected lands in Asaba, the state capital. Areas visited by the Committee included 74 Road, Musa Camp, and Dennis Osadebay University, Anwai-Asaba. However, some of the occupants, in a peaceful protest to the Government House, pleaded with the government to grant them the opportunity of repossessing part of the lands, which they claimed were part of their family land acquired from their forefathers in 1954. They said demolishing areas already built up would render them homeless.

But speaking during the inspection, Omare warned that government would no longer tolerate illegal structures built on government lands by land speculators. Omare stressed that, as a responsible administration, the state government had given enough notice to the illegal developers, and warned those who have valuable items in their houses to remove them before the demolition exercise begins.

He said the committee had carried out enough enlightenment to the affected land speculators to stop deceiving investors to acquire lands belonging to the state government.
The Chairman appealed to investors to make appropriate enquiries before buying any land, warning that ignorance was not an excuse.

Omare said “We have given them adequate time and they know that where they have built is government land. None of these developers has Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). This exercise will also be carried out wherever government lands have been encroached on across the 25 local government areas of the state”.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ben Oghojafor denied the allegation that the university was selling land to developers at Musa Camp and pledged the institution’s support for the efforts of the Committee to recover its land. According to Oghojafor, “I have no reason, either of poverty or otherwise, induced, compelled, and encouraged, to sell one metre of land belonging to Dennis Osadebay University.

“Mr. Chairman, you have the full support of the university to demolish any property within the coordinates of the approved land for Dennis Osadebay University.”

Earlier, some protesters from the Iyase and Onishe families of Asaba stormed Government House, Asaba, to state their own part in the land dispute.

Spokesmen of the group appealed to the government to allow them repossess part of their family land acquired from their forefathers in 1954, stressing that demolishing areas already built up would render them homeless.

The Chief of Staff, Government House, Johnson Erijo, who received them, thanked them for the peaceful protest, assuring that their request would be channeled to the governor for prompt action. He said government was committed to ensuring that illegal acquisition of land was not tolerated, in addition to ensuring that communities had access to their legitimate land.

Addressing the Committee during a visit to the Nsopi area, a representative of the community, Ikemefuna Akpoku, thanked Governor Sheriff Oborevwori for constituting a formidable team to recover all land belonging to the Dennis Osadebay University being encroached upon by land speculators. He said the community was in support of the action, promising to partner government in the recovery process.

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