Traditional rulers in Owan communities have dissociated themselves from an alleged lawsuit against the citing of the oil palm project in their communities.
They hereby commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for citing the project in their communities, with the traditional leaders and residents reassuring their support to ensure the success of the programme.
In his address, the traditional ruler of Ora, HRH J.E Okanigbuan Oraekpen II, Oje of Ora said the project would increase economic activities in the area and bring development closer to residents of the community.
He noted that the Ora community was duly consulted and all agreements reached with the government before the commencement of the programme.
The Oje who spoke through the Ogidigan of Ora, Chief Segun Imoinah, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the news of a purported lawsuit allegedly instituted against the Edo State Government by the Ora clan in respect of the Edo State oil palm project cited in the Edo forest reserves in Ora.
‘We want to state emphatically that we know nothing about the lawsuit and we were not consulted before such purported lawsuit was instituted.
“The Ora people wholeheartedly support the oil palm project being sited in Ora. We will continue to support the government to ensure the success of the programme. As a people, we are concerned about the development of our community and know the impact of this project.
“Apart from boosting oil palm and allied products production for both local and international markets, the economic impact of this programme cannot be overemphasized.
“We thank the Governor for this project and reassure him of our unflinching support.”
On his part, the chairman, Ora-Government Interface Committee, Chief Okhuoya Akhadelor said the lawsuit is the handiwork of some retrogressive persons hellbent on sabotaging the development of Owan communities.
Similarly, the Utebi of Illueha, HRH Samuel Dogo also said: “I was surprised when my secretary briefed me of this sad incident. We have never raised a grievance regarding the reserve.
“It is the government who owns it and if they want to use it, since it belongs to them, they are free to use the land. We have nothing against the government regarding the siting of the project. Our people are a hundred percent behind the government.”