BreakingNews 14/3/17 - Benin, Ijaw, Itsekiri bicker over ownership of Gelegele community

[ Masterweb Reports: Usman A. Bello reports ] - A group under the aegis of Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) yesterday alleged that Ijaw and Isekiri are plotting to take over Gelegele oil bearing community in Ovia North East local government of Edo state.


Daily Trust reports that during the recent visit of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to Edo state, Oba Ewuare II, while welcoming him to his palace asked the federal government to wade into the conflict between the Benin and the Ijaw who he described as settlers.


The monarch added that the Ijaws and Itsekiri were claiming ownership of the place and the matter was taken to Supreme Court and judgment was passed in favour of the Benin kingdom.


Addressing journalists during a protest in Benin, the group’s spokesperson, Comrade Odion Olaye lamented that Ijaws and Itsekiris were claiming ownership of the area despite the Supreme Court judgment.


“The Ijaws and Itsekiris have taken the oil well in our land to be their private property. We are aware of the issue surrounding Gelegele land in Benin Kingdom which Oba Erediauwa has fought for and won in Supreme Court,” he said.


Reacting on behalf of Ijaw and Isekeri, Engr. Don Ben said Ijaw people had been living in Gelegele before the extradition of Oba Ovonramwen in 1897.


“This is where I was born and brought up. We have been doing things in common. If they are now using politics to drag us somewhere because a seaport is going to be cited here, it is left for the person,” he said.


Usman A. Bello reports from Benin.


*Photo Caption - As seen.

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