Machete-wielding land grabbers chase away UNIBEN investors, staff

Some land grabbers have chased away some international investors and Management staff from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, Edo State, amid confusion.


The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lilian Salami made the allegation while speaking on a Benin-based Pidgin English Radio programme on Wednesday June 14, 2023.

She alleged that machete-wielding hoodlums from neighbouring Communities, swooped on guests during survey of the University’s project site on Ugbowo Campus and pave the way for take-off.

She also alleged that investors had entered into agreement with UNIBEN to establish the largest Poultry farm in West Africa and provide poultry products in a large scale for consumers before violence erupted.

But, the VC who was silent on the number of casualties recorded in incident, said project would have provide jobs for several unemployed Nigerians in the institution and lamented the destruction of UNIBEN hybrid oil palm seedlings.

Prof. Salami also explained that the seedlings and economic crops which were planted by Agricultural Science students of the institution, was met for the Faculty of Agriculture students’ practicals in the school.

While giving a brief historical perspective on how the land dispute between the University and its neighboring communities began years ago, the VC however warned that in a matter of time, developers who built on government land in UNIBEN will lose their investment.

The VC recalled that, “Last year, one international company came to collaborate with UNIBEN. When the investors became ready to survey the land, hoodlums (land grabbers) used machete to drive them (investors and staff) away.

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“Since that incident, the company has not come till now. If the company was allowed to invest, it would have employ our children and other unemployed Nigerians. Food will be available. Poultry products would have been surplus and cheap for consumers “, Prof. Salami said.

When she was asked if the University has the necessary title documents that make the University the true owner of the land, the Vice-Chancellor replied in the affirmative that developers who acquired government land in UNIBEN cannot get approval for a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) from government agency because the ownership of the land, had been gazetted by government agency.

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