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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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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Gunmen Kill Security Guard, Set Filling Station Ablaze In Ondo

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Gunmen have shot dead a security guard identified as Sunday who manned a filling station at Igoba community in the Akure-North Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday.

After killing the guard, the gunmen also reportedly set the filling station on fire.

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Speaking on the incident, the station manager, Ajisafe Oluwatobiloba, said he got notified about the fire incident but could not trace anyone responsible for the act.

He said, “In the morning, I was called by one of the residents, and on getting here, we saw the station burning, we called the fire service and they came to stop the fire not knowing the perpetrators had killed our security guard.

READ ALSO: Ondo Church: Drama As Indoctrinated Children Refuse To Follow Parents Home

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“While trying to figure out what could have caused the fire, we saw where the guard was tied and killed. We also saw the keg used by the arsonist filled with petrol which must have been used to wet the station before setting it on fire.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs Funmi Odunlami, who confirmed the incident, said investigation was ongoing to unravel the circumstances that led to it.

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NDLEA Secures 984 Illicit Drug Convictions

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has secured 984 convictions since January this year.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Mohammed Buba Marwa, who disclosed this on Monday, said the convictions were on drug-related offences.

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Marwa spoke at his residence in Yola while receiving newly elected executives of the Adamawa State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), saying the Nigerian population still has a huge percentage that depends on hard drugs.

He said about 15 million out of the 200 million Nigerians are into drugs and many of them are addicted.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has launched War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to reinvigorate the fight against hard drugs.

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According to him, more rehabilitation centres are on the way across the nation.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: NDLEA Burst Drug Cartel In Delta, Arrest Baroness, Seal Bunkers

He advocated collective efforts, with the media playing a vital part, in safeguarding the nation against hard drugs.

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Buba Marwa who congratulated his visitors over their victory at the recent NUJ council election, charged them to champion the fight against drug abuse.

Speaking earlier, the state Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Ishaka Dedan pledged the union’s cooperation in enlightening the public on the scourge of hard drugs.

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Ondo Church: Drama As Indoctrinated Children Refuse To Follow Parents Home

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Children who were among the 77 individuals rescued from the subterranean cell of the Whole Bible Believers Church, also known as “Ondo Church,” in Ondo West Local Government Area, have refused to follow their parents home until their pastors are freed by the police.

As the parents of the majority of the victims sobbed over their children’s refusal to return home with them as a result of the purported hypnosis, the twist only seemed more unbelievable on Monday at the police headquarters.

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Some of the parents who besieged the police headquarters of the Ondo Command said their kids vowed not to leave the station until the pastors who were detained are released.

The parents complained that “black magic” had been used on the kids and insisted that the victims needed to undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation.

Michael Olohunyomi, the father of one of the victims, revealed that his daughter Priscilla, 21, had been refusing to eat since Saturday because she believed the pastor should be freed.

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“I was a member of that church and I was there for 32 years,” the bereaved father cried. When Peter Josiah was appointed as the church’s assistant pastor, everything about it changed. He introduced harmful heresy.”

Wande Oladapo, a victim’s brother, expressed shock that his 40-year-old sibling could be hypnotized and stated, “My brother has refused to go home after he was discharged on Saturday. He vowed not to leave his pastor in the cell unattended.

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Funmilayo Odunlami, the state’s police public relations officer, commented on the development, saying, “Despite all of our efforts and attempts to appease them, someTension In Ondo Over Alleged Plan By Bandits To Attack Community of the victims refused to go home and insisted that they would stay here.

“One of our children declared that she would rather follow the Lord than her parents.”

The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and social development, Princess Bunmi Osadahun said, the state government was working towards rehabilitating the victims.

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