Indigenes of Elele community in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State have staged a peaceful protest to the Edo State Government House, in Benin City, demanding payment of compensation for the acquisition of their land for the siting of Edo University, Iyamho and demanded for the renaming of the university to Edo University, Elele- Uzairue.
A spokesperson for the protesters, Prince Mike Oshiobujie, accused the former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of being the cause of the agonies faced by indigenes of Elele, as he has continued to ignore meetings to resolve challenges caused by the siting of the university in its present site.
The group urged the Edo State Government to rename the university from Edo University, Iyamho to Edo University, Elele- Uzairue, noting that 80 per cent of the land occupied by the university belongs to Elele community.
He said, “The ancestral owners of the land are here to express their grievances and agony they have kept bottled up over the years. The money for the compensation for the land has not been paid and has not been released as a result of the divide and rule politics of Oshiomhole.”
“There is a threat of insecurity between Elele and Iyamho. These are communities that have lived peacefully in the recent past,” Oshiobujie added.
An opinion leader from the community, Mr Sylvanus Oniakhena said Elele community can no longer cope with ticketing and insurance of identity cards to farmers to enable them to access their farms through the university’s gate.
Ms. Goodness John, accused the management of Edo University, Iyamho of not giving employment opportunities to indigenes of Elele.
Addressing the protesters, Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, said the issues raised would be addressed to ensure lasting peace between indigenes of Elele and Iyamho communities.
The governor, who was represented by the state Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu urged the protesters to continue to maintain peace, adding, “I want to assure you that we will look into all the issues. I want to urge you all to go back home and maintain peace.”