STOP DEMOLITION AND TAKE OVER OF OUR FOREST LANDS, EDO COMMUNITIES BEG STATE GOVERNMENT.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on September 7, 2022
Residents of the Okpamakhin community of Owan Forest Zone, have appealed to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to put a stop to the bulldozing of their ancestral rainforest and farms. They are urging the governor to respect an ECOWAS court order that has stopped the demolition.
In a protest march held at Uhonmora Ora in Edo State, the residents say over fifty-five of these communities from four local government areas of the state were not carried along with the demolitions and takeover of the forest by the Edo state government.
The protesters are drawn from over fifty-five villages of the rainforest zone, spreading across four local government areas of Ovia North East, Uhunmwode, Owan West and Owan East are demanding a stoppage of further demolition of their ancestral farms, forests, and crops.
A spokesperson for the protesters Fred Alenburu says all entreaties to get the attention of relevant government representatives have been ignored even though a case had already been instituted at the ECOWAS court.
The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions are overwhelmed by the situation which they say will deprive them of their source of livelihood.
The commissioner for environment and sustainability Damian Salami in his reaction said the forest reserve is the treasure base of government that benefits communities and the state at large.
The Leadership of the communities however expects the understanding of the Edo state government which is informing the reason for the protest.