Indigenes of Amagba Village in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State have backed the revocation of Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) on Pastor Osagie lze-Iyamu farmland measuring 18.0736 hectares that houses ‘I. O Farms’ by the State government.
The government had in a letter dated July 22, 2021 and signed by Mrs. Nora Ohiwerei, for the State Managing Director of Urban Planning on behalf of the State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, notified Ize-Iyamu, former Secretary to the State government, of the action.
Elders of Amagba Village led by the most elderly man (Odionwere) Mr. Joseph Iduoriyekemwen and elder Victor Aigbe and three others in a statement on Sunday, August 1, 2021, alleged that portions of the property allocated to individuals, was dubiously taken from them years ago by the politician.
According to the elders, “The portion of the land within the 18 hectares to which ize-lyamu laid claim, hitherto awarded to him by the Community, has since been revoked ‘by the people and leaders of Amagba, after several letters by the people and a final letter written to him by the legal representative of the Amagba Community”.
“As a Community, we decided to withdraw the large expanse of land over which lze-lyamu sat, under the guise of setting up an Agricultural institution to create jobs as well as open up the area for increased economic activities.
“It turned out that lze-Iyamu only used the proposed agricultural institution to deceitfully acquire the land from the Community, because in fact, there has never been any activity on the said parcel for these many years: Rather, the place, having been left unused, has become a den of criminals, posing severe security and safety threat to women, Children and the entire people of Amagba Community.
“It is important to emphasize that, even before the Community began to solicit the intervention of the governor, several engagements have been ongoing to draw lze-Iyamu’s attention to the need to vacate the said property, having failed to put it to use for the purpose for which it was allocated.
“We have, over the years, endured the pain and agony of the domination of Mr. lze-Iyamu, who has depended on his political clout and connection with successive governments, to deprive us of the purposeful use of our land and also put our lives in danger, having Ieft such a vast land unused in the midst of a thriving Community, thereby making the land a cover for armed robbers, rapists, hoodlums, among others.
“The people of Amagba also acknowledge the numerous developmental projects embarked upon by the Governor in our Community, including the over 15km Ugbor-Amagba Road, which has since been completed, as well as several other adjoining roads that have been constructed. We, once more reaffirm our unflinching support for the Governor for his interest in the development of Amagba Community and appeal that these efforts be sustained”, the statement said.
Reacting to the statement, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, faulted the stance of Amagba Community elders, describing the revocation of the property as “petty and politically motivated”, carried out “in clear violation of legal rights and moral principles”.
John Mayaki, APC Director of Media for the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation in the the September 19, 2020 governorship poll, condemned the move.
“No doubt exists that the state government’s action is driven by a petty, politically motivated feeling of vengeance given the timing and other surrounding circumstances, hence the unrestrained and total condemnation of the move by right-minded actors and seasoned democrats in the State and across the Country”.