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Communal clash looms in Edo State *As ‘war’ between Oshiomole and Igbinedion intensifies.

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Communal clash looms in Edo State *As ‘war’ between Oshiomole and Igbinedion intensifies.

Communal clash looms in Edo State  *As ‘war’ between Oshiomole and Igbinedion intensifies.
November 16
14:28 2015

Debo Popoola
The recent disagreement between the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole and erstwhile governor of the state, Lucky Igbinedion may likely degenerate to a communal clash as their respective supporters have taken to the streets to protest and counter-protest, an act analysts have described as a threat to the peace of the state.
Recently, Governor Adams Oshiomhole revoked over 200,000 hectares of land belonging to the Igbinedion family. The governor accused Lucky Igbinedion of acquiring the land illegally during his administration as the state governor.
The PDP in the state has described the action as a witch-hunt and wickedness by the governor, and this led to a peaceful solidarity protest by supporters of the Igbinedions, across some streets in the state capital.
But, in what looks like a counter protest, youths and some civil society unions were seen in their numbers at the state’s National Assembly chanting solidarity songs in support of the state government’s action.
At the seventh anniversary town hall meeting organized by the Edo state government, the governor assured the people of the state that he would continue without fear of man, but with the fear of God to provide leadership that will deliver prosperity to the great people of Edo state. He said for him to do that everybody born of a woman who lives in the state must be subjected to the rule of law.
He said In the interest of Edo people, even the ones yet unborn, he would want to be remembered after his stewardship, not only for roads, hospitals and schools but much more importantly, he would want to be remembered as the man who brought an end to exemption.
Governor Oshiomhole said emphatically that there would be no more exemptions in Edo State.  He said: “I want to be remembered as the man who took from those who have bastardized, raped and privatized the resources of Edo State, used our money to build their private universities and walk around our streets when they are supposed to be in prison.”
Governor Oshiomhole reiterated that he did not promise to make everybody happy, that he only promised to make the majority happy. While reacting to the allegations levelled on him by the Igbinedions, he promised to publish the records of the mismanagement under Lucky Igbinedion in black and white, adding that Edo people will be shocked how they have been raped.
He said: “You are here looking for a small parcel of land and Lucky Igbinedion, former Governor here gave out to his own father, Gabriel Igbinedion over 200,000 acres of government land.   They took that land on the ground that they will use it for mechanized farming.
“That is what is in the books but what is on ground is that, Igbinedion takes this land and gives this land to cocoa farmers, some of them from Edo, some from Yoruba land. These cocoa farmers will farm and sweat to grow their cocoa on government land, Igbinedion will sit in his house on which he is not paying ground rent and is collecting royalties.
“Is Igbinedion the Oba of Benin? The great Oba of the great Benin Kingdom never subjected his people to that level of exploitation. Can you accept that one chief collects royalties as if he is a traditional ruler.
“Based on the powers vested in me, as the elected Governor of Edo State, I used those privileges to revoke the over 200,000 hectares of land that the Igbinedion, the son gave to Igbinedion the father. I revoked it and I returned it to government.
“You need to hear as students of AAU how Igbinedion raided Edo State resources. You know that in AAU, we have College of Medicine where we are training doctors. In 2000, when Lucky was in government, AAU was producing medical students.
“These medical students are supposed to be attached to a hospital for their clinical. The Igbinedion family decided that AAU will not use the state-owned hospital. They decided on record that our Central Hospital will be reserved for Igbinedion University.
Lucky Igbinedion has however replied the governor, describing him as a “sinking ship” who makes baseless allegations.

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