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Demolition exercise is not about Oborevwori to witch-hunt – Delta govt.

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Delta Government has reiterated that its land recovery mission was not to witch-hunt anyone but to do the right thing by putting the record straight.

The Chairman of the Delta Taskforce on Recovery of Government Lands, Chief Frenk Omare, said this during Friday’s demolition exercise of illegal buildings at Dennis Osadebay University, Asaba.

Recall Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta had given a matching order to a constituted task force to recover illegally acquired government lands across the state.

Deploying three “Swamp Buggies” bulldozers to the site, Omare said the one-month-old land recovery exercise would be done in all 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

According to Omare, the lands were gazetted many years ago by the government but land grabbers stepped in and sold them to unsuspecting individuals without any approved document.

He, however, challenged aggrieved victims to come up with valid titled documents on the lands acquired.

He said the government would not pay compensations for illegally erected buildings, adding that the government’s actions in Asaba would serve to warn other illegal occupiers across the state.

He said the people were adequately sensitised and warned ahead of the demolition exercise but remained adamant until they saw the bulldozers approaching them.

Omare said, “This demolition exercise is a continuation of the task force assignment in the state.

“We are still in Asaba axis; we are coming to Ibusa, Agbor, Kwale, Warri, indeed across the 25 LGAs of the state.

“It is a process and our governor is determined to recover all the lands to the government.

“How can we pay compensation; the victims ought to pay for the equipment the government is hiring for the demolition.

“We are looking for the land grabbers who sold the lands and misinformed the less privileged, putting the people in this present suffering.”

Omare said the land had been gazetted since the administration of Capt. Ibrahim Kefa and upheld by subsequent administrations of Chief James Ibori, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and now, Oborevwori.

“Government cannot fold its hand; it is not about Gov. Oborevwori or to witch hunt anybody; it is about government policies,” he said.

He advised the people to obtain reasonable information from appropriate government agencies, adding that they should promptly remove their valuables if their acquired or rented property was on government land.

Omare dismissed claims by some of the affected landlords that the government had assured them regularisation of the land titles after they were served quit notices.

According to reports, over 30 buildings including warehouses were demolished at Camp 74 on the landed area mapped out and gazetted for Dennis Osadebay University.

Speaking to NAN, some victims said the government should have given enough notice to enable them to relocate and evacuate their wares.

Others said although they were served quit notices, they had a meeting with the government and were assured their landed properties would be regularised by giving them ownership titles.

The impacted residents of the area were seen lamenting and making concerted efforts to salvage some of their belongings.

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