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Okomu Oil Boss Destroying Our Land, Maltreating Our People’, Ukomu Natives Cry For Help

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…Accuse Him Of Land Grabbing

…Call On Edo, Federal Governments For Intervention

Ukomu and its adjoining communities have called on the Federal and Edo State governments to prevail on Dr. Graham Hefer, Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC, from destroying and seizure of their god-given land.

Hefer was also accused of environmental violation, maltreatment of host communities, encroaching and grabbing of the Ukomu National Park by his company.

This call and revelations were made recently during a combined visit by journalists and civil society organisations to the communities and the National Park located in the Ukomu forest reserve of Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.

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Speaking to journalists in Ukomu, an elder in the clan, Chief Augustine Yanky, chided Dr. Hefer for what he called attempts to further destroy the Ukomu communities.

Chief Yanky, who is founder of Ekerikete community under Ukomu clan, specifically accused Hefer of destroying the only bridge at the expense of his company’s plantation which leads to the heartbeat of the clan.

In his own part, Mr. Tony Okhale, Secretary of the Protection of Ukomu National Park and the Environment (PONPE), a civil society coalition, was also definite in his call to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the National Park Service to save the park from Dr. Hefer’s violation.

Also contributing, Mr. Olopele E. Olopele, a native of Nikorogha, lambasted the Okomu Oil boss for alleged destruction of the park, saying this is evidenced with the recent killing of a young rare elephant by workers of his company.

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He joined Chief Yanky and others in calling on Edo State and Federal governments to immediately come to rescue the National Park and the local communities from the firm’s grip.

The accusations against Dr. Hefer was also confirmed at Makilolo, one of the communities under Ukomu clan by the traditional head of the village and his second-in-command, respectively.

Both men told journalists that the village and several others live without basic socio amenities and services, stressing that either government nor Okomu Oil has provided them any amenities.

They also alleged threats of environmental hazards, seizure of their ancestral land and threats of eviction from the land by Dr. Hefer and his company.

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In corroborating the allegations, a fisherwoman (name withheld) who hails from the same Makilolo village, also alleged that the Okomu Oil, with Dr. Hefer as its present boss, had brought more hardship to her community than the past bosses of the plantation firm.

She accused Hefer of hostility to her village and the entire host forest communities, citing “unending harassment, demand for body pass, bodily search and flogging of the villagers by soldiers, on the order of Dr. Heifer”.

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Metro

PHOTOS: Many Trapped As Two-storey Building Collapses In Lagos Island

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Rescue operation is currently ongoing to save victims trapped in a two-storey building which collapsed at number 15, Iga Idungaran, close to Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu’s palace, Lagos Island.

According to eyewitness, the unfortunate incident occurred at about 11am, Thursday.

Men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Nigeria Police, among other emergency responders were on ground searching for survivors.

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READ ALSO: Obaseki Has Paid N147m Counterpart Fund For LIFE-ND Agric Project, Says Coordinator

Recall that the latest incident happened barely four days ago, precisely on Sunday, when a Mosque collapsed at Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin area, killing at least three worshippers, including a 12 year-old boy in the process.

Details later…

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Terrorists Kill 12 In Kaduna Market Attack

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Terrorists, on Wednesday, reportedly attacked and killed 12 persons at Maro Junction, a weekly Market in Maro Ward, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A former chairman of the local government, Cafra Caino, who confirmed the development to The PUNCH, said the assailants invaded the market around 3pm on Wednesday and opened fire.

According to him, 12 bodies have been recovered while 20 others who sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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He explained that it was the second time the weekly market had been attacked while business owners and customers transacting businesses.

READ ALSO: ‘Misplaced Priority,’ Nigerians Slam Govt For Reinstating Old National Anthem

“The situation is critical and has thrown residents around the area into confusion while they scampered for safety in neighbouring villages.

“Security operatives drafted to the area have already left. We are appealing to the government to deploy security operatives to help restore normalcy,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to him by The PUNCH correspondent as of the time of filling this report.

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VIDEO: Three Arrested For Accusing Delta Policemen Of Stealing N50m Gold Chains

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The Delta State Police Command has arrested three men for wrongly accusing some of its officers of stealing their gold chains, supposedly worth N50 million, during a stop-and-search operation.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Edafe Bright, disclosed this in a post, accompanied by a video, on X.com on Tuesday.

His caption read, “So yesterday, these three guys were accosted by men of RRS, searched, and allowed to go, only for them to come back later in the evening, alleging that their gold worth N50m was stolen by the policemen.

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READ ALSO: Delta Police Arrest Suspected Robbers, Cultist

“The policemen were humiliated for simply doing their job; well, the rest is history. “Please watch for the full gist.”

In the video, Edafe explained that the gold chains were later found in the possession of the suspects when they came back to the RRS office to accuse the officers of theft.

The driver in whose pocket the gold chains were found also claimed that the chains were given to him before they got to the RRS checkpoint.

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READ ALSO: Delta Police Arrest Drug Dealer, Seize Huge Stash On Highway

He added that later on, one of them, Nnamdi, said he couldn’t find his gold when he wanted to change his clothes.

“I called his brother to ask if those were the gold he (Nnamdi) was looking for, but he said no. So when we came back to the RRS office, the chains were found in my inner pocket,” he explained, speaking in pidgin.

 

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