From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The operation Manager of Kogi state Town Planning Development Board, TPL, Daniel Sani on Wednesday at Egume vowed to Prosecute all perpetrators of encroachment into the reserved Egbe forest in Egume community.
Town Planer Daniel Sani described the people in the community as a peace loving beings who in the face of conflicts remain calm waiting for government intervention.
He commended the national body of the union for the literate exhibition in obtaining the “master plan” of the community and even followed due process to ensure permanent boundary demarcation and retrieval of the royal cemetery.
TPL Sani warned aggrieved owners of all illegal structures, farm lands, beacons, houses marked for demolition and revocation to forward their grievances to the state headquarters within 21 days.
He, however, pointed out that the Board would not hesitate to drag purported owners of such illegal property to court for the destruction of government reserved Egbe forest, if they failed to report at the state headquarters within the stipulated days.
“I will like to advise youth in the area not to take law into their hands as government would do everything humanly possible to correct the wrongs at the royal cemetery as no body is above the law.”
He enjoined the Union to rise to the challenges of ensuring proper demarcation and survey of the forest towards obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the land.
In his address, the chairman of the four traditional ruling houses of Egume, Prince Isah Musa Ike who spoke on behalf of the Onu Egume and the District head of Okura, HRH, Alhaji Etila Ajeka eulogized the national body of Egume Ome Descendants’ Union (EODU) for the bold steps taken to cover our royal fathers stripped naked by trespassers.
Prince Musa also appreciated the Town planning development board and other agencies for their quick response to the request and outcry of the people which according to him shows the level of respect government has for the traditional rulers.
The national President Egume Ome Descendants’ Union (EODU) Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Ibrahim who was represented by the national P.R.O of the union, Mr. Noah Ocheni assured the team of their unalloyed cooperation to ensure speedy execution of government’s plan to retrieve the royal cemetery.
“The Union discovered that the deforestation and encroachment into Egbe forest is a gross abuse, disregard and disrespect for our cultural heritage.”
The president, however, warned all Egbe forest farmers, those claiming ownership of economic trees, structures and lands to be ready for the forfeiture of the property aftermath the visit and execution of the government plan for the community.
Alhaji Ibrahim thanked members of Akogu-Omaga vigilante group for their enthusiasm and commitment towards peace keeping within Egume and it’s environs.