Petition to stop the impunity of Ijaw settlers in GeleGele, Benin City, Nigeria.
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Petition to stop the impunity of Ijaw settlers in Gelegele, Benin City, Nigeria.
From the time of our fore-fathers, the Edos have always welcomed strangers and settlers; settlers have been treated well, given land to farm, given equal opportunity like any Edo citizen, give our daughters out in marriage and allowed settlers and strangers to contribute in the affairs governing us in Edo legally. Never have we had a group of settlers trying to undermine us, steal our land or fight us in our land but the Ijaws in Gele-gele and environs, Benin City.
On the 11th of April 2017, a team of land developers from Benin, at their development site in Gelegele, were ambushed by the Ijaw youths and beaten mercilessly and their vehicles burnt down.
Your Excellency, up till this moment, nobody was arrested for this violence against Benin people in their own town of Gelegele whereas,there was an issue of Benin Youth Movement where some Benin youths warned the Ijaw community against claiming ownership of the Gelegele community. They were arrested and have been swiftly remanded in prison over trumped up charges of treason.
Our worry now is that whereas a people who beat up Benin people, burned their vehicle and threatened to do worse if the Benin's come into the Gelegele are not arrested or even questioned but innocent protesters have been chased up and down and have been arrested and detained.
Our question, Your Excellency, where is the solidarity you promised us?
We demand herewith for the prosecution of the perpetuators of the battery, arson and treason against the Benin people.
Since 22nd December 1978, the Ijaw settlers in Gelegele have been trying to provoke the Edos to evicting them from Gelegele by laying claim to Gelegele and environs, they have resulted to self-help and they have gone as far as to the supreme court, all in means to provoke the Edos to forcefully evict them from our land, yet we kept calm and allowed the laws of the land to take its course because a group of people do not lay claim to land, the government does. Bayelsa state is not laying claim to Edo land but a few Ijaws that wants attraction and maybe compensation before they leave the land.
Today and every day since they first laid claim to Gelegele and environs, the Ijaw settlers have been steadily playing the “above the law” card, they have fought and maimed Edos living in the same city with them asking them to go away from the town because they now own Gelegele, a position they have been advised never to take by the supreme court of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Even with the judiciary reminding the Ijaw settlers that they have been ungrateful to the Edos by trying to start an argument of who really owns the land with these material evidences to buttress the false claim to the land at Gelegele and environs:
1. High Court of Justice, Benin Judgment delivered on the 22nd December 1978 by .Justice. Ekeruche J in Suit No. B/I44/1970.
2. Federal Court of Appeal judgment delivered on the 16th December1981 by Abdul Ganiy Olatunji· Agbaja and 2 others in Suit No. FCA/B/82/80.
3. Supreme Court unanimous Judgment delivered on the 19th ‘August 1983 by Muhamedu Lawai Uwais, former Chief Justice of the Federation and 4 others in Suit No. SC.131/1982.
The Ijaw settlers till date are still trying and willing to sell the false narrative that even though their ancestors were settlers, they the modern offspring’s can attempt to lay claim to the land they have been allowed to settle in peacefully against the judgement and rulings of the supreme court.
At this point, we members of Edo Ni’ Ibaromi are petitioning the Ijaw settlers in Gelegele and environs for we are concerned citizens of Edo State and we urge our state Governor to act now to:
1. Stop the Ijaws settling in Gele Gele from harassing Edos living peacefully in GeleGele.
2. Restrain Ijaws settlers in GeleGele from Fighting both Edo and non Edo workers developing properties in GeleGele
3. Bring to book under the laws of the land, the Ijaw settlers that attacked and burnt down the vehicle of Edo Citizens
4. Bring to book under the laws of the land, the Ijaw settlers that inflicted bodily harm to Edo Citizens carrying out their lawful duties.
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