Alleged encroachment on Oghara Community Land: Our Story-Navy.
Aftermath of protests by youths and indigenes of Oghara in Delta State resulting in the blockade of the Benin-Warri highway for several hours over alleged encroachment by the Navy on their land, the Navy High Command in Abuja has stated what it described as the true story of events concerning the land.
A statement signed by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe said, “The Naval Headquarters has reviewed the incident that occurred at Oghara in Delta State in which some people from the host community blocked the Benin-Warri section of the East-West Road over claim of
illegal encroachment on their land.
“The protest which lasted for some time caused discomfort to members of the public who were denied free access through the area.
“Though the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Naval Logistics Command based in Oghara, promptly reacted to the incident, it is imperative to make further clarification on the status of the parcels of
Land allocated to the Nigerian Navy by the Delta State Government in Oghara on which the following facilities are being cited; Headquarters
Naval Logistics Command, Nigerian Navy ultra-modern Barracks, NN Air Strip and other auxiliary structures.
“It is on record that an initial allocation of 213 hectares of land was given to the Service by the Delta State Government in 2008 for the construction of NN Barracks.
“However, due to the nature of facilities planned for the Barracks, the NN viewed that there was a need for a more expansive area hence an additional request was made to the Delta State Government following which 30 hectares of land previously ceded to the Mobile Police was re-allocated to the Navy.
“Consequently, the Mobile Police was relocated to Ogharofe another community around the area.
“In view of the additional 30 hectres of land allocated to the Nigerian Navy, the Delta State Government issued a duly certified Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for 243 hectres of land to the Navy.
“Additionally, the Headquarters Naval Logistics Command which sits on 5 hectres of land was also issued a duly certified C of O in favour of the Nigeria Navy.
“Meanwhile another parcel of land which measures 78 hectres was also acquired by the Navy for the purpose of an Airstrip. For this parcel of land, the Delta State Government has issued an R of O.
“It is worthwhile to mention that the 243 hectres of land is being fenced in phases which the Navy suspects may be the reason for claims of illegal encroachment by the host communities resulting to agitation for compensation.
“The Nigerian Navy however wishes to state that the parcels of land were validly allocated and certified by the Delta State Government. It is also pertinent to note that the Navy has not encroached on the community land and has no mandate for compensation as it remains the prerogative of the Delta State Government.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Navy is appealing to the aggrieved members of the host community to kindly channel their complaint to the appropriate authority rather than take laws into their hands.
“As an institution that practices fairness and respects the rights of citizens, the Navy hereby assures the good people of Oghara of its resolve to preserve the peace and tranquility of the host community.”
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