Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has assured University of Benin (UNIBEN) governing council that his administration has put in place stringent laws against land grabbers in the state and in the institution.
Obaseki stated this on Tuesday in Benin while addressing members of the newly-inaugurated governing council of the university who were on a courtesy visit to him at the Government House, Benin.
He said that anyone who ran foul of the laws would be made to face the consequences.
The governor said that his administration was taking the issue of encroachment and land grabbing seriously, as it portrayed the state as one in which lawlessness reigned.
He assured the institution that his government would do everything possible to recover its land that had been encroached on, for possible expansion.
“We are taking the issue of land encroachment very seriously, because if we do not, this seat of power, Edo Government House, will, some day, be encroached upon.
“We are glad that we have promulgated and re-enacted a law on private property protection and banned the activities of community youths perpetrating the act.
“I am happy to inform you that the palace of Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, is standing with our administration on this.
“Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, is very much with our government, as youths protested to his palace on this and he stood firm with our action.
“The traditional institution and the government do not support this act of encroachment. We will ensure that we curtail their activities and recover the land that had been encroached.
“Land encroachment and land grabbing are something we are taking very seriously. We enacted a law last week and had a special court to prosecute offenders. We are ready to send as many of them as possible to jail,” he said.
According to Obaseki, government cannot be talking of attracting investors and expanding facilities in the state, while some persons would come overnight to take land from people, as if there was no law in Nigeria.
Earlier, Chairman of the governing council, Dr Sonny Kuku, thanked the governor for his administration’s developmental stride which, he said, had also been extended to the institution, with the upgrade of roads and other infrastructural facilities.
Kuku said that they were at the government house to inform the governor about the inauguration of a new governing council for the institution.
He also used the occasion to draw the governor’s attention to the issue of encroachment on the institution’s land by some land grabbers, saying that they had been frustrating the university’s efforts to expand further. (NAN)