Protests rock Delta community over forceful acquisition of land by Navy

Residents of Oghara community in Delta State on Tuesday, barricaded the Benin-Warri section of the East-West road over an alleged illegal acquisition of a large portion of land belonging to the community by authorities of the Nigerian Navy Logistics Command Oghara, Delta State.

The protest which lasted for several hours created heavy gridlock until the men of the Nigeria Police Force drafted to the scene intervened.

The protesters comprising youths, women and the aged, said the Nigerian Navy had begun encroaching on the community’s farming lands without consulting the people.

But the Navy in reaction denied the allegation, claiming that the disputed land was rightly ceded to the command by the Delta State government in May 2015 following the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

The protest organised by Rev. David Ugolor, Chief Stephen Egbivwie and Tony Omene under the Oghara Centre for Social Justice called on the federal government to caution the Navy Logistics Command, Oghara, as the people were not ready to cede the remaining portion of their farm land to them.

According to them, “In 2006, when the Nigerian Navy requested land for the construction of a barrack, a piece of land in the community which was initially meant for the Nigeria Mobile Police was traded to the Navy and the police relocated to Ogharefe.

“But the Navy have illegally acquired all lands close to the land ceded to them, including the Catholic Mission belonging to the Order of St. Augustine, measuring 600ft by 500ft.”

They lamented that their entire land was eventually being forcefully seized by the Navy leaving them with no farming land.

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